A Review of State of the Art in Phosphine Ligated Gold Clusters and Application in Catalysis

Rohul H. Adnan, Jenica Marie L. Madridejos, Abdulrahman S. Alotabi, Gregory F. Metha, Gunther G. Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Atomically precise gold clusters are highly desirable due to their well-defined structure which allows the study of structure–property relationships. In addition, they have potential in technological applications such as nanoscale catalysis. The structural, chemical, electronic, and optical properties of ligated gold clusters are strongly defined by the metal–ligand interaction and type of ligands. This critical feature renders gold–phosphine clusters unique and distinct from other ligand-protected gold clusters. The use of multidentate phosphines enables preparation of varying core sizes and exotic structures beyond regular polyhedrons. Weak gold–phosphorous (Au–P) bonding is advantageous for ligand exchange and removal for specific applications, such as catalysis, without agglomeration. The aim of this review is to provide a unified view of gold–phosphine clusters and to present an in-depth discussion on recent advances and key developments for these clusters. This review features the unique chemistry, structural, electronic, and optical properties of gold–phosphine clusters. Advanced characterization techniques, including synchrotron-based spectroscopy, have unraveled substantial effects of Au–P interaction on the composition-, structure-, and size-dependent properties. State-of-the-art theoretical calculations that reveal insights into experimental findings are also discussed. Finally, a discussion of the application of gold–phosphine clusters in catalysis is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2105692
Number of pages48
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number15
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2022


  • atomically precise clusters
  • gold–phosphine clusters
  • phosphine ligands
  • superatoms


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