Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have emerged in recent decades as attractive and selective catalysts for sustainable organic synthesis. Nanostructured gold is indeed environmentally friendly and benign for human health; at the same time, it is active, under different morphologies, in a large variety of oxidation and reduction reactions of interest for the chemical industry. To stabilize the AuNPs and optimize the chemical environment of the catalytic sites, a wide library of natural and synthetic polymers has been proposed. This review describes the main routes for the preparation of AuNPs supported/embedded in synthetic organic polymers and compares the performances of these catalysts with those of the most popular AuNPs supported onto inorganic materials applied in hydrogenation and oxidation reactions. Some examples of cascade coupling reactions are also discussed where the polymer-supported AuNPs allow for the attainment of remarkable activity and selectivity.
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