Superatom spin-state dynamics of structurally precise metal monolayer-protected clusters (MPCs)

Lenzi J. Williams, Patrick J. Herbert, Marcus A. Tofanelli, Christopher J. Ackerson, Kenneth L. Knappenberger

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Electronic spin-state dynamics were studied for a series of Au 25 (SC 8 H 9 ) 18 q and Au 24 Pd(SC 8 H 9 ) 18 monolayer-protected clusters (MPCs) prepared in a series of oxidation states, q, including q = -1, 0, +1. These clusters were chosen for study because Au 25 (SC 8 H 9 ) 18 -1 is a closed-shell superatomic cluster, but Au 25 (SC 8 H 9 ) 18 0 is an open-shell (7-electron) system; Au 25 (SC 8 H 9 ) 18 +1 and PdAu 24 (SC 8 H 9 ) 18 0 are isoelectronic (6-electron) closed-shell systems. Carrier dynamics for electronic fine structure spin states were isolated using femtosecond time-resolved circularly polarized transient-absorption spectroscopy (fs-CPTA). Excitation energies of 1.82 eV and 1.97 eV were chosen for these measurements on Au 25 (SC 8 H 9 ) 18 0 in order to achieve resonance matching with electronic fine structure transitions within the superatomic P- and D-orbital manifolds; 1.82-eV excited an unpaired P z electron to D states, whereas 1.97-eV was resonant with transitions between filled P x and P y subshells and higher-energy D orbitals. fs-CPTA measurements revealed multiple spin-polarized transient signals for neutral (open shell) Au 25 (SC 8 H 9 ) 18 , following 1.82-eV excitation, which persisted for several picoseconds; time constants of 5.03 ± 0.38 ps and 2.36 ± 0.59 ps were measured using 2.43 and 2.14 eV probes, respectively. Polarization-dependent fs-CPTA measurements of PdAu 24 (SC 8 H 9 ) 18 clusters exhibit no spin-conversion dynamics, similar to the isoelectronic Au 25 (SC 8 H 9 ) 18 +1 counterpart. These observations of cluster-specific dynamics resulted from spin-polarized superatom P to D excitation, via an unpaired P z electron of the open-shell seven-electron Au 25 (SC 8 H 9 ) 18 MPC. These results suggest that MPCs may serve as structurally well-defined prototypes for understanding spin and quantum state dynamics in nanoscale metal systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101102
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 14 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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