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Raman Spectroscopy of Benzenethiolates on Nanometer-Scale Gold Clusters

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journal contribution
posted on 09.11.2006, 00:00 by Ryan C. Price, Robert L. Whetten
Near-infrared (1064-nm) irradiation of neat solid samples of benzenethiolate monolayer-protected gold clusters (MPCs) yields strong, well-resolved Raman spectra of the thiolate groups, comparable to those obtained for the same groups adsorbed at roughened gold electrodes. These clusters are formulated as TOAZ[AuN(SPh)M]Z-, N M and Z = 3−6, with core diameters of 1.7 and 1.5 nm, and were characterized previously by X-ray scattering, mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, optical spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and elemental analysis [Price, R. C.; Whetten, R. L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005]. Numerous previous attempts to obtain spectra on various MPCs yielded only diffuse luminescence bands, as did benzenethiolate MPC samples of TOA2[Au44(SPh)28]2-, with 1.1-nm core diameters. The clusters are free of excess tetraoctylammonium bromide (TOABr) from the synthetic procedure, containing only the necessary TOA+ to maintain charge balance. In situ thermometry, using the anti-Stokes/Stokes intensity ratios, indicated the sample temperature remained below the onset of thermal decomposition. The Raman spectra of the clusters bear a strong resemblance to those obtained for nonmetallic (Au(I)SPh)x polymer samples that are not in resonant absorption at the laser wavelength. The smaller of the two cores, nominally TOA6[Au110(SPh)62], shows clearly a band at 505 cm-1 assigned to a S−S stretch, suggestive of a moiety resembling diphenyl disulfide on the cluster surface. These results are interpreted with reference to recent reports suggesting a substantial “reconstruction” of the outermost gold layer upon thiolate adsorption (SAM formation).