Metal clusters of different sizes possess unique physical and chemical properties. Their deposition on well-defined surfaces can, therefore, lead to the production of novel materials. For example, small clusters supported on oxide surfaces exhibit new and surprising properties. Probably the most prominent example is the oxidation of CO on small, supported Au clusters, where Au clusters composed of more than seven atoms are found to be reactive even at low temperatures. However, since clusters in this size regime show specific, nonscalable characteristics, thorough studies with well-defined samples of metal clusters of a single size are necessary. We introduce here the techniques needed to create such samples and discuss the main obstacles in producing monodispersed cluster samples.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(06)71576-0