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Identifying the Real Chemistry of the Synthesis and Reversible Transformation of AuCd Bimetallic Clusters

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journal contribution
posted on 23.06.2022, 21:03 authored by Huixin Xiang, Hao Yan, Jiaohu Liu, Ranran Cheng, Cong-Qiao Xu, Jun Li, Chuanhao Yao
The capability of precisely constructing bimetallic clusters with atomic accuracy provides exciting opportunities for establishing their structure–property correlations. However, the chemistry (the charge state of precursors, the property of ligands, the amount of dopant, and so forth) dictating the fabrication of clusters with atomic-level control has been a long-standing challenge. Herein, based on the well-defined Au25(SR)18 cluster (SR = thiolates), we have systematically investigated the factors of steric hindrance and electronic effect of ligands, the charge state of Au25(SR)18, and the amount of dopant that may determine the structure of AuCd clusters. It is revealed that [Au19Cd3(SR)18] can be obtained when a ligand of smaller steric hindrance is used, while Au24Cd­(SR)18 is attained when a larger steric hindrance ligand is used. In addition, negatively charged [Au25(SR)18] is apt to form [Au19Cd3(SR)18] during Cd doping, while Au24Cd­(SR)18 is produced when neutral Au25(SR)18 is used as a precursor. Intriguingly, the reversible transformation between [Au19Cd3(SR)18] and Au24Cd­(SR)18 is feasible by subtly manipulating ligands with different steric hindrances. Most importantly, by introducing the excess amount of dopant, a novel bimetallic cluster, Au4Cd4(SR)12 is successfully fabricated and its total structure is fully determined. The electronic structures and the chirality of Au4Cd4(SR)12 have been elucidated by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Au4Cd4(SR)12 reported herein represents the smallest AuCd bimetallic cluster with chirality.

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