Chemically Selective Imaging of Individual Bonds through Scanning Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy: Disulfide Bridges Linking Gold Nanoclusters

As proof-of-principle of chemically selective, spatially resolved imaging of individual bonds, we carry out electron energy-loss spectroscopy in a scanning transmission electron microscopy instrument on atomically precise, thiolate-coated gold nanoclusters linked with 5,5′-bis­(mercaptomethyl)-2,2′-bipyridine dithiol ligands. The images allow the identification of bridging disulfide bonds (R–S–S–R) between clusters, and X-ray photoelectron spectra support the finding.