This chapter presents an overview on size, structure, morphology, composition as well as the effect of the support on the electrocatalytic properties of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). It was found that the electrocatalytic properties of unsupported AuNPs strongly depend on their size and shape. Consequently, the electrocatalytic properties of AuNPs can be tuned. Furthermore, to design high-performance electrocatalysts with minimal precious metal content and cost, the direct immobilization of metal NPs onto carbon-based substrates during their synthesis constitutes another elegant alternative and has been thoroughly examined. These “easy-to-use” supports as scaffolds for AuNPs, namely carbon black, carbon paper, etc., offer beneficial contributions. Indeed, thanks to their high available surface area, good electronic conductivity and synergistic effect between the chemical species present on their surface and the loaded NPs, carbon-based supports enable maximizing the efficient utilization of the catalysts toward drastic enhancement in both activity and durability. We also examined different judicious combinations of (electro)analytical techniques for the unambiguous determination of the reaction product(s) over the Au-based nanocatalysts, using glucose as model molecule given its importance in electrocatalysis. The performances of carbon-supported AuNPs as anode materials in direct glucose fuel cell in alkaline medium were also discussed.
Part of the book: Catalytic Application of Nano-Gold Catalysts