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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 M3AuxAg17−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.
- Atomically precise ligand-protected nanoclusters
- silver nanoclusters
- de novo structure prediction
- x-ray structure determination
- first-principles DFT calculations
- optical absorption measurements and TDDFT calculations
- electronic shell strcture
- ligand bundling
- interligand conformations
- capping ligand mounts
- Copyright © 2016, The Authors
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