LSU Patrick Taylor Hall, Room 1114,
10:00am –Noon, Friday, October 19, 2012
Controlling Gold Nanoparticles with Atomic Precision
Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15213 USA
Controlling nanoparticles with atomic precision has long been a major goal in nanoscience. Gold nanoparticles are quite attractive due to their chemical stability, optical and catalytic properties. The synthesis of atomically precise gold nanoparticles, however, remains a major challenge, which hampers the pursuit of their fundamental science (e.g. quantum size effects) and the development of their applications (e.g. catalysis). In this talk I will present a successful size-focusing methodology for synthesizing a series of atomically precise gold nanoparticles protected by thiolates (referred to as Aun(SR)m, with n ranging from a few dozens to several hundreds of atoms, often called nanoclusters). Such ultrasmall nanoparticles (1-3 nm) exhibit distinct quantum confinement effects and interesting electronic and optical properties that are fundamentally different from those of larger counterparts¾plasmonic nanoparticles. A few representative, size-specific Aun(SR)m nanoclusters will be discussed in detail. New types of atom-packing structures have been discovered in Aun(SR)m nanoclusters. These well-defined nanoclusters hold great potential in catalysis, and correlation of the catalytic properties with Aun(SR)m structures will ultimately offer fundamental understanding on nanogold catalysis.