NMR spectroscopy: a potent tool for studying monolayer-protected metal nanoclusters
Monolayer protected metal clusters are currently in the focus of interest both for fundamental reasons and for their use in possible applications. In the past two decades the interest was mainly focused on the evolution of the structrue and properties as the clusters grow in size. The field profited tremednously from mass spectrometry and X-ray structure analysis. For future applications of monolayer protected clusters other properties like the interaction of the clusters with molecules will become important. Also, it has been realized more recently that these monolayer protected clusters are rather dynamic, which calls for techniques able to address this property. By discussing selected examples we demonstrate the power of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to study the structure and the dynamics of clusters and their interacion with molecules (sensing). NMR spectroscopy is an abundant technique and has become very sophisticated. Future work in the field of monolayer protected clusters may greatly profit from this. We believe that NMR spectroscopy, although not yet used much in the field of monolayer protected clusters, has the potential to become a key technique complementary to mass spectrometry and X-ray structure determination.