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Gold nanoparticles (NPs) exhibit optical, catalytic, and physical properties that are scientifically fascinating and essential for many applications. However, the challenge is to synthesize and disperse ultra-small and highly stable NPs. We demonstrate here that isolated and ultra-small (~1 nm) Au NPs can be synthesized by photo-reduction of HAuCl4 inside thiol-functionalized MOFs, including MIL-101 (Cr) and a novel class of MOFs, MOF-808-SH. A combination of physical, imaging, spectroscopic measurements, and ab initio calculations confirms that the Au NPs are dispersed inside the bulk of the MOFs and demonstrate that the thiol group is critical to stabilize the Au NPs deeply inside individual pores which overcomes the major issue of external nucleation on the outer surfaces. The thiol-functionalized MOFs thus fulfill a dual purpose: they foster the nucleation of the Au NP and also provide confinement and a …
The Royal Society of Chemistry
Publication date: 
5 Jul 2019

Jeremy Cure, Eric Mattson, COCQ Kévin, Hala Assi, Stephanie Jensen, Kui Tan, Massimo Catalano, Shuai Yuan, Hao Wang, Liang Feng, Peng Zhang, Sunah Kwon, Jean-Francois Veyan, Yasiel Cabrera, Guo-Yu Zhang, Jing Li, Moon J Kim, Hong-Cai Zhou, Yves J Chabal, Timo Thonhauser

Biblio References: 
Journal of Materials Chemistry A