Insights into the effects produced by doping of medium-sized boron clusters with ruthenium†
Modification of properties of boron nanoparticles by doping with transition metals presents a challenging problem because the number of isomers of both doped and un-doped nanoparticles rapidly increases with the nanoparticle size. Here, we perform a study of neutral and anionic Ru-doped boron clusters RuBn (n = 9–20) using the unbiased CALYPSO structural search method in combination with density functional theory calculations. Our results show that the neutral RuB9 cluster possesses a perfect planar wheel-like geometrical structure, whereas the RuBn clusters prefer structures of the half-sandwich type in the range of 10 ≤ n ≤ 14, drum-like type in the range of 15 ≤ n ≤ 18 and cage-like structures for larger n values. The geometrical structures of the lowest total energy states of the RuBn− anions are similar to those of the corresponding neutrals, except for RuB10−, RuB11−, RuB14−, RuB15− and RuB20−. The neutral RuB12 and RuB14 clusters are found to exhibit enhanced stability with respect to the rest of the RuBn clusters due to the delocalized bonding between the Ru atom and the boron host.