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Confining an Ag10 Core in an Ag12 Shell: A Four-Electron Superatom with Enhanced Photoluminescence upon Crystallization

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journal contribution
posted on 24.04.2019, 00:00 by Esma Khatun, Mohammad Bodiuzzaman, Korath Shivan Sugi, Papri Chakraborty, Ganesan Paramasivam, Wakeel Ahmed Dar, Tripti Ahuja, Sudhadevi Antharjanam, Thalappil Pradeep
We introduce a cluster coprotected by thiol and diphosphine ligands, [Ag22(dppe)4(2,5-DMBT)12Cl4]2+ (dppe = 1,2-bis­(diphenylphosphino)­ethane; 2,5-DMBT= 2,5-dimethylbenzenethiol), which has an Ag10 core encapsulated by an Ag12(dppe)4(2,5-DMBT)12Cl4 shell. The Ag10 core comprises two Ag5 distorted trigonal bipyramidal units and is uncommon in Au and Ag nanoclusters. The electrospray ionization mass spectrum reveals that the cluster is divalent and contains four free electrons. An uncommon crystallization-induced enhancement of emission is observed in the cluster. The emission is weak in the solution and amorphous states. However, it is enhanced 12 times in the crystalline state compared to the amorphous state. A detailed investigation of the crystal structure suggests that well-arranged C–H···π and π···π interactions between the ligands are the major factors for this enhanced emission. Further, in-depth structural elucidation and density functional theory calculations suggest that the cluster is a superatom with four magic electrons.

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