Silver sulfide nanoclusters and the superatom model
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Scientific › peer-review
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Physical Chemistry C|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Jan 2015|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
The superatom model of electron-shell closings has been widely used to explain the stability of noble-metal nanoclusters of few nanometers, including thiolate-protected Au and Ag nanoclusters. The presence of core sulfur atoms in silver sulfide (Ag-S) nanoclusters renders them a class of clusters with distinctive properties as compared to typical noble-metal clusters. Here, it is natural to ask whether the superatom model is still applicable for the Ag-S nanoclusters with mixed metal and nonmetal core atoms. To address this question, we applied density functional simulations to analyze a series of Ag-S nanoclusters: Ag14S(SPh)12(PPh3)8, Ag14(SC6H3F2)12(PPh3)8, Ag70S16(SPh)34(PhCO2)4(triphos)4, and [Ag123S35(StBu)50]3+. We observed that superatomic orbitals are still present in the conduction band of these Ag-S clusters where the cluster cores comprise mostly silver atoms. Our Bader charge analysis illustrates that thiolates play a significant role in withdrawing charge (electron density) from the core Ag atoms. The simulated optical absorption properties of the selected Ag-S clusters reflect the substantial band gaps associated with typical molecular orbitals on both sides. Apart from Ag14S(SPh)12(PPh3)8, which has a central sulfur atom in the cluster core, superatomic orbitals of the Ag-S clusters can have contributions for individual transitions in the conduction band.