A transition from metal-like double-layer capacitive charging to redox- like charging was observed in electrochemical ensemble Coulomb staircase experiments on solutions of gold nanoparticles of varied core size. The monodisperse gold nanoparticles are stabilized by short-chain alkanethiolate monolayers and have 8 to 38 kilodaltons core mass (1.1 to 1.9 nanometers in diameter). Larger cores display Coulomb staircase responses consistent with double-layer charging of metal-electrolyte interfaces, whereas smaller core nanoparticles exhibit redox chemical character, including a large central gap. The change in behavior is consistent with new near-infrared spectroscopic data showing an emerging gap between the highest occupied and lowest unoccupied orbitals of 0.4 to 0.9 electron volt.
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