Even though gold is inert in its bulk practice, greatly disseminated gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) with dimensions less than 5 nm have been found to be active for a number of oxygen transfer reactions, particularly for low-temperature CO oxidation. The catalytic activity not only be subject to the particle size of Au but also on the nature of the support and the synthesis method of the catalyst. These factors are frequently inter-related such that their separate contributions cannot be easily unraveled. Also, the activity of a supported Au catalyst is ruled by a complex combination of contributions of the particle morphology, metal dispersion, and electronic properties of the gold. Higher catalytic activity is being observed for Au NPs supported on reducible metal oxides such as TiO2, Co3O4, CeO2, and Fe2O3. However, silica is an inert, inexpensive, and convenient support that can be shaped into a host of attractive and varied morphologies. In this chapter, the study of CO oxidation catalyzed by mono- and bimetallic Au NPs over various silica supports is discussed in detail.
Part of the book: Gold Nanoparticles