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Nano Research

Article Title

Superatomic Au13 clusters ligated by different N-heterocyclic carbenes and their ligand-dependent catalysis, photoluminescence, and proton sensitivity

Authors

Hui Shen, State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, National & Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Preparation Technology of Nanomaterials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Sijin Xiang, State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, National & Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Preparation Technology of Nanomaterials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Zhen Xu, State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, National & Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Preparation Technology of Nanomaterials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Chen Liu, School of Pharmaceutical Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361002, China
Xihua Li, State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, National & Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Preparation Technology of Nanomaterials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Cunfa Sun, State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, National & Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Preparation Technology of Nanomaterials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Shuichao Lin, State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, National & Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Preparation Technology of Nanomaterials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Boon K. Teo, State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, National & Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Preparation Technology of Nanomaterials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Nanfeng Zheng, State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, National & Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Preparation Technology of Nanomaterials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China

Keywords

carbene ligands, gold nanocluster, catalysis, luminescence, Au13

Abstract

We report herein a class of superatomic Au13 clusters stabilized by different N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs). The clusters show diverse metal surface structures, properties and functions as exemplified by: (1) the first anionic Au13 cluster [Au13(NHC-1)6Br6]−, which has bulky NHC-1 ligands that lead to a rather open metal surface contributing to its high catalytic activity; (2) the tricationic cluster [Au13(NHC-2)5Br2]3+ which has bidentate, benzyl-rich NHC-2 ligands that make it ultra-stable and highly-luminescent, suitable for bio-imaging; and (3) by bearing two pyridyl groups on NHC-3, the dicationic cluster [Au13(NHC-3)9Cl3]2+ exhibits reversible and stable visible absorption and solubility responses to protonation/deprotonation cycles, making it a potential pH sensor (NHC-1 = 1,3-diisopropylbenzimidazolin-2-ylidene; NHC-2 = 1,3-bis(1-benzyl-1H-benzimidazol-1-ium-3-yl)propane; NHC-3 = 1,3-bis(picolyl)benzimidazolin-2-ylidene). The study nicely demonstrates the importance of ligands in designing metal nanoclusters with desired functionalities.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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