New protective ligands for atomically precise silver nanoclusters
Atomically precise silver nanoclusters (NCs) have emerged as a hot topic attracting immense research interest. Protecting ligands are needed for direct capping on cluster surfaces in order to prevent aggregation and to stabilize NCs. It has been demonstrated that protective ligands are critical to determining the sizes, structures and properties of silver NCs. The past decades have witnessed conventionally used organic ligands (thiolates/selenols, phosphines and alkynyls) and inorganic ligands (chalcogens and halogens) being extensively used to passivate NC surfaces. However, only in the most recent years have new-type protecting ligands beyond the conventional ones begun to be introduced in the protecting sphere of new functional silver NCs. The present Frontier article covers the most recent examples of some new protective agents for well-defined silver NCs. We describe four classes of novel silver NCs stabilized by newly-developed surface ligands, namely, nitrogen-donor organic ligands, oxygen-donor inorganic ligands, metalloligands and macrocyclic hosts, paying attention to the synthesis, structures and properties of these silver NCs. This Frontier article will hopefully attract more cluster scientists to explore more freshly ligated atomically precise silver NCs with novel structures and properties in the years ahead. The literature survey in this review is based on publications up to February 2020. Some suggestions for future directions in this field are also given.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 Frontier and Perspective articles