Toward the creation of stable, functionalized metal clusters
Nanomaterials which exhibit both stability and functionality are currently considered to hold the most promise as components of nanotechnology devices. Thiolate (RS)-protected gold nanoclusters (Aun(SR)m) have attracted significant attention in this regard and, among these, the magic clusters are believed to be the best candidates since they are the most stable. We have investigated the effects of heteroatom doping, protection by selenolate ligands and protection by photoresponsive thiolates on the stability and physical/chemical properties of these clusters. Through such studies, we have attempted to establish methods of modifying magic Aun(SR)m clusters as a means of creating metal clusters that are both robust and functional. This paper summarizes our studies towards this goal and the obtained results.