We report the assembly of gold nanoclusters by the nonthiolate ligand diglyme into discrete and dynamic assemblies. To understand this surprising phenomenon, the assembly of Au20(SC2H4Ph)15-diglyme intoAu20(SC2H4Ph)15-diglyme-Au20(SC2H4Ph)15 is explored in detail. The assembly is examined by high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy, size exclusion chromatography, mass spectrometry, IR spectroscopy, and calorimetry. We establish a dissociation constant for dimer to monomer conversion of 20.4 μM. Theoretical models validated by transient absorption spectroscopy predict a low-spin monomer and a high-spin dimer, with assembly enabled through weak diglyme oxygen-gold interactions. Close spatial coupling allows electron delocalization between the nanoparticle cores. The resulting assemblies thus possess optical and electronic properties that emerge as a result of assembly.
Compel, W. Scott, O. Andrea Wong, Xi Chen, Chongyue Yi, Roy Geiss, Hannu Häkkinen, Kenneth L. Knappenberger Jr, Christopher J. Ackerson