Gas phase metal cluster model systems for heterogeneous catalysis.
ABSTRACT Since the advent of intense cluster sources, physical and chemical properties of isolated metal clusters are an active field of research. In particular, gas phase metal clusters represent ideal model systems to gain molecular level insight into the energetics and kinetics of metal-mediated catalytic reactions. Here we summarize experimental reactivity studies as well as investigations of thermal catalytic reaction cycles on small gas phase metal clusters, mostly in relation to the surprising catalytic activity of nanoscale gold particles. A particular emphasis is put on the importance of conceptual insights gained through the study of gas phase model systems. Based on these concepts future perspectives are formulated in terms of variation and optimization of catalytic materials e.g. by utilization of bimetals and metal oxides. Furthermore, the future potential of bio-inspired catalytic material systems are highlighted and technical developments are discussed.