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Cover Picture: Critical Size for O2 Dissociation by Au Nanoparticles (ChemPhysChem 2/2009)
The cover picture shows the results of a systematic density functional theory study of the intrinsic reactivity of unsupported Au nanoparticles towards molecular oxygen dissociation. The top part of the image evidences the prediction that small nanoparticles such as Au25 and Au38 are able to dissociate O2 through a small energy barrier. The middle part and bottom part of the image show the different behaviour of larger nanoparticles and of extended Au surfaces where impinging O2 molecules are likely to desorb. These results by F. Illas et al. (page 348) provide an explanation to recent findings (Turner et al. Nature, 2008, 454, 981) indicating that Au nanoparticles derived from Au55 are able to selectively oxidize styrene directly from dioxygen.