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Experimental determination of the energy difference between competing isomers of deposited, size-selected gold nanoclusters

D. M. Foster, R. Ferrando, Richard Palmer Orcid Logo

Nature Communications, Volume: 9, Issue: 1

Swansea University Author: Richard Palmer Orcid Logo

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Abstract

The equilibrium structures and dynamics of a nanoscale system are regulated by a complex potential energy surface (PES). This is a key target of theoretical calculations but experimentally elusive. We report the measurement of a key PES parameter for a model nanosystem: size-selected Au nanoclusters...

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Published in: Nature Communications
ISSN: 2041-1723 2041-1723
Published: 2018
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa39327
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Abstract: The equilibrium structures and dynamics of a nanoscale system are regulated by a complex potential energy surface (PES). This is a key target of theoretical calculations but experimentally elusive. We report the measurement of a key PES parameter for a model nanosystem: size-selected Au nanoclusters, soft-landed on amorphous silicon nitride supports. We obtain the energy difference between the most abundant structural isomers of magic number Au561 clusters, the decahedron and face-centred-cubic (fcc) structures, from the equilibrium proportions of the isomers. These are measured by atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy, with an ultra-stable heating stage, as a function of temperature (125–500 °C). At lower temperatures (20–125 °C) the behaviour is kinetic, exhibiting down conversion of metastable decahedra into fcc structures; the higher state is repopulated at higher temperatures in equilibrium. We find the decahedron is 0.040 ± 0.020 eV higher in energy than the fcc isomer, providing a benchmark for the theoretical treatment of nanoparticles.
College: College of Engineering
Funders: UKRI, (EP/K006061.
Issue: 1