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Keywords:

  • Gold;
  • Hydrogenation;
  • Nanoclusters;
  • Selective oxidation;
  • Thiols
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Thiolate-protected Aun clusters are exploited as homogeneous and supported catalysts for two chemical processes: i) the selective oxidation of styrene by O2 to benzaldehyde and ii) the chemoselective hydrogenation of α,β-unsaturated ketone to α,β-unsaturated alcohol. The results demonstrate that a quantum-size effect in Aun clusters plays a critical role in their catalysis. This work highlights the importance of pursuing quantum-sized gold clusters for catalysis.