[Cu23(PhSe)16(Ph3P)8(H)6]·BF4: Atomic-Level Insights into Cuboidal Polyhydrido Copper Nanoclusters and Their Quasi-simple Cubic Self-Assembly

Polyhydrido copper nanoclusters are an emerging class of nanomaterials. Unfortunately, insights into the structural evolution and structure–property relationship of such copper nanoclusters are scant, because of the difficulty of synthesizing and crystallizing nanoclusters with high nuclearity and new morphologies. Here, we report an anisotropic cuboidal polyhydrido copper nanocluster, [Cu23(PhSe)16(Ph3P)8(H)6]·BF4, with a distorted cuboctahedral Cu13 core stabilized by two square protecting motifs and six hydrides. The cuboidal nanoclusters self-assemble into a quasi-simple cubic packing pattern with perfect face-to-face contact of neighboring nanoclusters and interdigitation of intercluster surface ligands. Atomic-level observations reveal the crucial role that subtle synergies between nanocluster geometry and intercluster noncovalent interactions play in guiding nanocluster self-assembly. In addition, a comparison with previously reported analogous metal nanoclusters points to bulky monodentate phosphine ligands as a potent inducing agent for the formation of rectangular hexahedral nanoclusters. These findings have significant implications for the controllable synthesis of polyhedral nanomaterials and their superstructures.

Huang, R.-W., Yin, J., Dong, C., Maity, P., Hedhili, M. N., Nematulloev, S., … Bakr, O. M. (2020). [Cu23(PhSe)16(Ph3P)8(H)6]·BF4: Atomic-Level Insights into Cuboidal Polyhydrido Copper Nanoclusters and Their Quasi-simple Cubic Self-Assembly. ACS Materials Letters, 90–99. doi:10.1021/acsmaterialslett.0c00513

This work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).

American Chemical Society (ACS)

ACS Materials Letters


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  • [Dataset]
    Huang, Ren-Wu, Yin, Jun, Dong, Chunwei, Maity, Partha, Hedhili, Mohamed Nejib, Nematulloev, Saidkhodzha, Alamer, Badriah, Ghosh, Atanu, Mohammed, Omar F., & Bakr, Osman M. (2021). CCDC 1996052: Experimental Crystal Structure Determination [Data set]. Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5517/CCDC.CSD.CC2501S1. DOI: 10.5517/ccdc.csd.cc2501s1 Handle: 10754/674157

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