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Gold Nanoclusters with Bright Near-Infrared Photoluminescence


The increase in nonradiative pathways with decreasing emission energy reduces the luminescence quantum yield (QY) of near-infrared photoluminescent (NIR PL) metal nanoclusters. Efficient surface ligand chemistry can significantly improve the luminescence QY of NIR PL metal nanoclusters. In contrast to the widely reported but modestly effective thiolate ligand-to-metal core charge transfer, we show that metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) can be used to greatly enhance the luminescence QY of NIR PL gold nanoclusters (AuNCs). We synthesized water-soluble and colloidally stable NIR PL AuNCs with unprecedentedly high QY (~25 %) upon introduction of triphenylphosphonium moieties into the surface capping layer. Using a combination of spectroscopic methods, we provide experimental evidence for gold core-to-ligand charge transfer occurring in AuNCs. Gold core-to-ligand charge transfer has also been simulated by DFT calculations. We envision that this work can stimulate development of these unusually bright AuNCs for promising optoelectronic, bioimaging, and other applications.

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Aug 2017, accepted on 08 Jan 2018 and first published on 08 Jan 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06050E
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Gold Nanoclusters with Bright Near-Infrared Photoluminescence

    G. Pramanik, J. Humpolickova, J. Valenta, P. Kundu, S. Bals, P. Bour, M. Dracinsky and P. Cigler, Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06050E

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