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ACS Nano ; 2020 Jun 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32559064


Recently, silver nanoclusters have garnered considerable attention after the high-yield synthesis and crystallization of a thiolate-protected silver nanocluster, Na4Ag44(SR)30 (SR, protecting thiolate ligand). One intriguing feature of Na4Ag44(SR)30 is its outstanding stability and resistance to chemical reactions, in striking difference from other silver nanostructures whose susceptibility to oxidation (tarnishing) has been commonly observed and thus limits their applications in nanotechnology. Herein, we report the mechanism on the ultrahigh stability of Na4Ag44(SR)30 by uncovering how coordinating solvents interact with the Na4Ag44(SR)30 nanocluster at the atomic scale. Through synchrotron X-ray experiments and theoretical calculations, it was found that strongly coordinating aprotic solvents interact with surface Ag atoms, particularly between ligand bundles, which compresses the Ag core and relaxes surface metal-ligand interactions. Furthermore, water was used as a cosolvent to demonstrate that semiaqueous conditions play an important role in protecting exposed surface regions and can further influence the local structure of the silver nanocluster itself. Notably, under semiaqueous conditions, aprotic coordinating solvent molecules preferentially remain on the metal surface while water molecules interact with ligands, and ligand bundling persisted across the varied solvation conditions. This work offers an atomic level mechanism on the ultrahigh stability of the Na4Ag44(SR)30 nanoclusters from the nanocluster-coordinating solvent interaction perspective, and implies that nanocluster-solvent interactions should be carefully considered moving forward for silver nanoclusters, as they can influence the electronic/chemical properties of the nanocluster as well as the surface accessibility of small molecules for potential catalytic and biomedical applications.

Acta Crystallogr E Crystallogr Commun ; 74(Pt 7): 987-993, 2018 Jul 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30002900


Crystals of M4Au12Ag32(p-MBA)30 bimetallic monolayer-protected clusters (MPCs), where p-MBA is p-mercapto-benzoic acid and M+ is a counter-cation (M = Na, Cs) have been grown and their structure determined. The mol-ecular structure of triacontakis[(4-carboxylatophenyl)sulfanido]dodecagolddotriacontasilver, Au12Ag32(C7H5O2S)30 or C210H150Ag32Au12O60S30, exhib-its point group symmetry at 100 K. The overall diameter of the MPC is approximately 28 Å, while the diameter of the Au12Ag20 metallic core is 9 Å. The structure displays ligand bundling and inter-molecular hydrogen bonding, which gives rise to a framework structure with 52% solvent-filled void space. The positions of the M+ cations and the DMF solvent mol-ecules within the void space of the crystal could not be determined. Three out of the five crystallographically independent ligands in the asymmetric unit cell are disordered over two sets of sites. Comparisons are made to the all-silver M4Ag44(p-MBA)30 MPCs and to expectations based on density functional theory.

Sci Adv ; 2(11): e1601609, 2016 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28138537


Fathoming the principles underpinning the structures of monolayer-coated molecular metal nanoparticles remains an enduring challenge. Notwithstanding recent x-ray determinations, coveted veritable de novo structural predictions are scarce. Building on recent syntheses and de novo structure predictions of M3Au x Ag17-x (TBBT)12, where M is a countercation, x = 0 or 1, and TBBT is 4-tert-butylbenzenethiol, we report an x-ray-determined structure that authenticates an a priori prediction and, in conjunction with first-principles theoretical analysis, lends force to the underlying forecasting methodology. The predicted and verified Ag(SR)3 monomer, together with the recently discovered Ag2(SR)5 dimer and Ag3(SR)6 trimer, establishes a family of unique mount motifs for silver thiolate nanoparticles, expanding knowledge beyond the earlier-known Au-S staples in thiol-capped gold nanoclusters. These findings demonstrate key principles underlying ligand-shell anchoring to the metal core, as well as unique T-like benzene dimer and cyclic benzene trimer ligand bundling configurations, opening vistas for rational design of metal and alloy nanoparticles.

J Am Chem Soc ; 137(36): 11550-3, 2015 09 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26301320


Although silver nanoparticles are of great fundamental and practical interest, only one structure has been determined thus far: M4Ag44(SPh)30, where M is a monocation, and SPh is an aromatic thiolate ligand. This is in part due to the fact that no other molecular silver nanoparticles have been synthesized with aromatic thiolate ligands. Here we report the synthesis of M3Ag17(4-tert-butylbenzene-thiol)12, which has good stability and an unusual optical spectrum. We also present a rational strategy for predicting the structure of this molecule. First-principles calculations support the structural model, predict a HOMO-LUMO energy gap of 1.77 eV, and predict a new "monomer mount" capping motif, Ag(SR)3, for Ag nanoparticles. The calculated optical absorption spectrum is in good correspondence with the measured spectrum. Heteroatom substitution was also used as a structural probe. First-principles calculations based on the structural model predicted a strong preference for a single Au atom substitution in agreement with experiment.

Nanopartículas Metálicas , Prata/química , Cristalografia por Raios X , Modelos Moleculares , Estrutura Molecular , Espectrometria de Massas por Ionização por Electrospray
Nat Mater ; 13(8): 807-11, 2014 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24705383


Self-assembled nanoparticle superlattices-materials made of inorganic cores capped by organic ligands, of varied structures, and held together by diverse binding motifs-exhibit size-dependent properties as well as tunable collective behaviour arising from couplings between their nanoscale constituents. Here, we report the single-crystal X-ray structure of a superlattice made in the high-yield synthesis of Na(4)Ag(44)(p-MBA)(30) nanoparticles, and find with large-scale quantum-mechanical simulations that its atomically precise structure and cohesion derive from hydrogen bonds between bundledp-MBA ligands. We also find that the superlattice's mechanical response to hydrostatic compression is characterized by a molecular-solid-like bulk modulus B(0) = 16.7 GPa, exhibiting anomalous pressure softening and a compression-induced transition to a soft-solid phase. Such a transition involves ligand flexure, which causes gear-like correlated chiral rotation of the nanoparticles. The interplay of compositional diversity, spatial packing efficiency, hydrogen-bond connectivity, and cooperative response in this system exemplifies the melding of the seemingly contrasting paradigms of emergent behaviour 'small is different' and 'more is different'.

Nature ; 501(7467): 399-402, 2013 Sep 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24005327


Noble-metal nanoparticles have had a substantial impact across a diverse range of fields, including catalysis, sensing, photochemistry, optoelectronics, energy conversion and medicine. Although silver has very desirable physical properties, good relative abundance and low cost, gold nanoparticles have been widely favoured owing to their proved stability and ease of use. Unlike gold, silver is notorious for its susceptibility to oxidation (tarnishing), which has limited the development of important silver-based nanomaterials. Despite two decades of synthetic efforts, silver nanoparticles that are inert or have long-term stability remain unrealized. Here we report a simple synthetic protocol for producing ultrastable silver nanoparticles, yielding a single-sized molecular product in very large quantities with quantitative yield and without the need for size sorting. The stability, purity and yield are substantially better than those for other metal nanoparticles, including gold, owing to an effective stabilization mechanism. The particular size and stoichiometry of the product were found to be insensitive to variations in synthesis parameters. The chemical stability and structural, electronic and optical properties can be understood using first-principles electronic structure theory based on an experimental single-crystal X-ray structure. Although several structures have been determined for protected gold nanoclusters, none has been reported so far for silver nanoparticles. The total structure of a thiolate-protected silver nanocluster reported here uncovers the unique structure of the silver thiolate protecting layer, consisting of Ag2S5 capping structures. The outstanding stability of the nanoparticle is attributed to a closed-shell 18-electron configuration with a large energy gap between the highest occupied molecular orbital and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital, an ultrastable 32-silver-atom excavated-dodecahedral core consisting of a hollow 12-silver-atom icosahedron encapsulated by a 20-silver-atom dodecahedron, and the choice of protective coordinating ligands. The straightforward synthesis of large quantities of pure molecular product promises to make this class of materials widely available for further research and technology development.