American Chemical Society
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Superior Oxygen Stability of N‑Heterocyclic Carbene-Coated Au Nanocrystals: Comparison with Dodecanethiol

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-12-01, 00:00 authored by Xiang Ling, Nicolas Schaeffer, Sylvain Roland, Marie-Paule Pileni
The stability of Au nanocrystals (NCs) coated with different N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) or dodecanethiol (DDT) to oxygen-based treatments was investigated. A dominant effect of the ligand type was observed with a significantly greater oxygen resistance of NHC-coated Au NCs compared to that of the thiol-based analogues. NHC-coated Au NCs are stable to 10 W oxygen plasma etching for up to 180 s whereas the integrity of DDT-coated Au NCs is strongly affected by the same treatment from 60–80 s. In the latter case, the average size of the NCs (from 2.6 to 6.3 nm) and the method of synthesis have no effect on the stability. NHC-coated Au NCs were found to generate of a smaller quantity of ligand-derived species under molecular oxygen treatment, which could account for the increased stability.