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Keywords:

  • gold;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • nanostructures;
  • organic–inorganic hybrid materials;
  • oxidation
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Heart of gold: A three-component material composed of 2-nm Au nanoparticles (see picture; blue spheres) capped with alkanethiols that are partially functionalized with alkoxysilane groups and then incorporated into an “open shell” of silica was prepared. Upon calcination, the sample is a highly active catalyst for the oxidation of CO at low temperatures, being an order of magnitude more active than Au on structured mesoporous materials.