Solving the atomic structure of metallic clusters is fundamental to understanding their optical, electronic, and chemical properties. Herein we present the structure of the largest aqueous gold cluster, Au146(p-MBA)57 (p-MBA: para-mercaptobenzoic acid), solved by electron micro-diffraction (MicroED) to subatomic resolution (0.85 Å) and by X-ray diffraction at atomic resolution (1.3 Å). The 146 gold atoms may be decomposed into two constituent sets consisting of 119 core and 27 peripheral atoms. The core atoms are organized in a twinned FCC structure, whereas the surface gold atoms follow a C2 rotational symmetry about an axis bisecting the twinning plane. The protective layer of 57 p-MBAs fully encloses the cluster and comprises bridging, monomeric, and dimeric staple motifs. Au146(p-MBA)57 is the largest cluster observed exhibiting a bulk-like FCC structure as well as the smallest gold particle exhibiting a stacking fault.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry