Ligand-and solvent-dependent electronic relaxation dynamics of Au25(SR)18 - Monolayer-protected clusters

Chongyue Yi, Hongjun Zheng, Patrick J. Herbert, Yuxiang Chen, Rongchao Jin, Kenneth L. Knappenberger

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Electronic relaxation dynamics of Au25(PET)18-1 and Au25(PET∗)18-1 monolayer-protected clusters (MPCs) were examined using femtosecond time-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy (fsTA). The use of two different excitation wavelengths (400 and 800 nm) allowed for quantification of state-resolved and ligand-dependent carrier dynamics for gold MPCs. Specifically, one-photon 400 nm (3.1 eV) and two-photon 800 nm (1.55 eV) interband excitations promoted electrons from the MPC ligand band into gold superatom d states. Following rapid internal conversion, carriers generated by interband excitation exhibited picosecond relaxation dynamics that depended upon both ligand structure and the dielectric of the dispersing medium. These solvent-and ligand-dependent effects were attributed to charge-Transfer processes mediated by the manifold of ligand-based states. In contrast, one-photon intraband (gold sp-sp) excitation by 800 nm light resulted in solvent-and ligand-independent relaxation dynamics. The observed solvent independences of these data were attributed to internal relaxation via superatom p and d states localized to the MPC core. Effectively, these core-based transitions were screened from dielectric influences of the dispersing medium by the MPC gold- thiolate protecting units. Additionally, a low frequency (2.4 THz) modulation of TA signal amplitude was detected following intraband excitation. The 2.4 THz mode was consistent with Au-Au expansion in the MPC core. Based on these data, we conclude that intraband relaxation among the MPC Superatom states is mediated by low-frequency vibrations of the gold core. Structure-specific and state-resolved descriptions of MPC electron dynamics are necessary for integration of metal clusters as functional components in photonic materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number39
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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