Chemists create switchable gold catalyst

23 septiembre 2015

A gold catalyst whose behavior can be controlled by the addition of acid or metal ion cofactors has been designed by chemists. They have developed a catalyst with significantly enhanced properties based on a rotaxane, in which a gold catalyst is embedded in the cavity formed by threading a ring shaped molecule around a dumbell shaped axle. On its own , the rotaxane gold catalyst is unreactive but the addition of ions that bind into a pocket in the catalyst framework leads to rapid reactions.