Nanosized NiO has been synthesized and used as a support for polyvinyl alcohol-protected Au nanoparticles. This catalytic system exhibits an extraordinary performance in the base-free liquid phase oxidation of alcohols compared to the same Au supported on a commercial, micrometersized NiO. This enhancement in activity cannot be solely attributed to the improved basic properties of the support. A cooperative effect between Au nanoparticles and nanosized NiO is envisaged.
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