Thermal stability and catalytic activity of gold nanoparticles supported on silica

Gabriel M. Veith, Andrew R. Lupini, Sergey Rashkeev, Stephen J. Pennycook, David R. Mullins, Viviane Schwartz, Craig A. Bridges, Nancy J. Dudney

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134 Citations (Scopus)


2.5 nm gold nanoparticles were grown on a fumed silica support, using the physical vapor deposition technique of magnetron sputtering, that are thermally stable when annealed in an oxygen containing environment up to at least 500 °C. Traditional Au/TiO2 catalysts rapidly sinter to form large 13.9 nm gold clusters under these annealing conditions. This surprising stability of Au/SiO2 is attributed to the absence of residual impurities (ensured by the halide-free production method) and a strong bond between gold and defects at the silica surface (about 3 eV per bond) estimated from density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The Au/SiO2 catalysts are less active for CO oxidation than the prototypical Au/TiO2 catalysts, however they can be regenerated far more easily, allowing the activity of a catalyst to be fully recovered after deactivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-101
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • DFT calculations
  • Gold catalyst
  • Gold reference catalyst
  • Gold-support interaction
  • Silica
  • Sputtering
  • Tammann temperature
  • Thermal stability
  • Titania

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this

Veith, G. M., Lupini, A. R., Rashkeev, S., Pennycook, S. J., Mullins, D. R., Schwartz, V., Bridges, C. A., & Dudney, N. J. (2009). Thermal stability and catalytic activity of gold nanoparticles supported on silica. Journal of Catalysis, 262(1), 92-101.