Charge Transfer Complexation of Ta-Encapsulating Ta@Si16 Superatom with C60

The tantalum-encapsulating Si16 cage nanocluster superatom (Ta@Si16) has been a promising candidate for a building block of nanocluster-based functional materials. Its chemical states of Ta@Si16 deposited on an electron acceptable C60 fullerene film were evaluated by X-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopies (XPS and UPS, respectively). XPS results for Si, Ta, and C showed that Ta@Si16 combines with a single C60 molecule to form the superatomic charge transfer (CT) complex, (Ta@Si16)+C60. The high thermal and chemical robustness of the superatomic CT complex has been revealed by the XPS and UPS measurements conducted before and after heat treatment and oxygen exposure. Even when heated to 720 K or subjected to ambient oxygen, Ta@Si16 retained its original framework, forming oxides of Ta@Si16 superatom.