Silver Nanoclusters: From Design Principles to Practical Applications
AuthorsAbdulHalim, Lina G.
KAUST DepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Materials Science and Engineering Program
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AbstractA strategy based on reticulating metal ions and organic ligands into atomically precise gold and silver nanoclusters (NCs) with high monodispersity has been advanced to a point that allows the design of NCs with strict stoichiometries, functionalities and valence. Of the Ag NCs discovered, Ag44 is the most studied, not only due to its high absorption that transcends the visible spectrum suitable for photovoltaics but also because of its long excited state lifetime, as revealed by nanosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. A major principle discovered in this dissertation is the ability to produce Ag44 in scalable amounts and with high stability in addition to modulation of the functional groups of the organic ligands via a fast and complete ligand exchange process. This new discovery has led to the development of synthetic designs in which new sizes were obtained by varying the reaction parameters (e.g., ligands functionality, reaction temperature and time), namely, Ag29 using dithiols and phosphines. The synthesized NCs possess tetravalent functionalities that facilitate their crystallization and characterization. Furthermore, Ag29 glows red and is therefore a possible candidate for sensing and imaging applications.