NIST logo

Publication Citation: Predictive Gold Nanocluster Formation Controlled by Metal-Ligand Complexes

NIST Authors in Bold

Author(s): John M. Pettibone; Jeffrey W. Hudgens;
Title: Predictive Gold Nanocluster Formation Controlled by Metal-Ligand Complexes
Published: January 09, 2012
Abstract: The formation of ligand-protected transition metal nanoclusters in size-selective syntheses is driven by the inherent properties of the protecting ligands. We have previously reported the selective, monodisperse product formation of phosphine protected Au8, chlorinated Au9 and Au10 clusters, but a general description of how the ligands produce size-selective products is necessary to develop a predictive model for cluster formation. The current study used phosphine-protected Au clusters as a model system to examine i) the metal ligand complex distributions in methanol:chloroform solutions as a function of Au:ligand ratio, ii) the role of oxidation on the complex distribution and iii) nanocluster formation after reduction with NaBH4 as a function of complex distribution. The initial complexes formed in solution are shown to not only control ligand formation, but also have strong correlation to specific synthetic pathways for product formation. Specifically, 1,n-bis(diphenylphosphino)alkane ligands, where n = 1-6 representing methane through hexane carbon backbones, are examined and split into two distinct classes based on Au:Ln complex formation. The classes form predominately either [AuLn2]+ (Class I, n = 1-3) or [Au2Ln2]2+ (Class II, n = 4-6) and the subsequent nanocluster formations after reduction are directly related to the initial complex distributions. Classification of the phosphine ligand:Au complexes allows for the first predictable syntheses of ligated Au clusters by simply monitoring the initial complex distribution.
Citation: Small
Volume: 8
Issue: 5
Pages: pp. 715 - 725
Keywords: ESI-MS; nanoparticle; monodisperse; monolayer-protected cluster; nucleation; reduction
Research Areas: Environmental, Drugs/Pharmaceuticals, Nanotech/Environment, Health & Safety, Particle, Sensors, Inorganic Analytical Chemistry, Medical Devices, Optical, Standard Reference Data, Chemical Analysis, Composition, Surfaces, Wet Chemistry, Mass Spectrometry, Spectroscopy, Electronic, Homogeneity, Chemical Properties, Mass
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (637KB)