Ag44(SeR)30: A Hollow Cage Silver Cluster with Selenolate Protection

Selenolate protected, stable and atomically precise, hollow silver cluster was synthesized using solid state as well as solution state routes. The optical absorption spectrum shows multiple and sharp features similar to the thiolated Ag44 cluster, Ag44(SR)30 whose experimental structure was reported recently. High-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HRESI MS) shows well-defined molecular ion features with two, three, and four ions with isotopic resolution, due to Ag44(SePh)30. Additional characterization with diverse tools confirmed the composition. The closed-shell 18 electron superatom electronic structure, analogous to Ag44(SR)30 stabilizes the dodecahedral cage with a large HOMO–LUMO gap of 0.71 eV. The time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) prediction of the optical absorption spectrum, assuming the Ag44(SR)30 structure, matches the experimental data, confirming the structure.