Atomic resolution observation of a size-dependent change in the ripening modes of mass-selected Au nanoclusters involved in CO oxidation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Kuo-Juei Hu
  • Peter Ellis
  • Christopher M. Brown
  • Peter T. Bishop

Colleges, School and Institutes


Identifying the ripening modes of supported metal nanoparticles used in heterogeneous catalysis can provide important insights into the mechanisms that lead to sintering. We report the observation of a crossover from Smoluchowski to Ostwald ripening, under realistic reaction conditions, for monomodal populations of precisely defined gold particles in the nanometer size range, as a function of decreasing particle size. We study the effects of the CO oxidation reaction on the size distributions and atomic structures of mass-selected Au561±13, Au923±20 and Au2057±45 clusters supported on amorphous carbon films. Under the same conditions, Au561±13 and Au923±20 clusters are found to exhibit Ostwald ripening, whereas Au2057±45 ripens through cluster diffusion and coalescence only (Smoluchowski ripening). The Ostwald ripening is not activated by thermal annealing or heating in O2 alone.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15161–15168
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2015