Size Transformation of the Au22(SG)18 Nanocluster and Its Surface-Sensitive Kinetics ( Bei Zhang Orcid , , Chubai Chen , , Wesley Chuang , , Shouping Chen Orcid , , and Peidong Yang* )

"For many applications of well-defined gold nanoclusters, it is desirable to understand their structural evolution behavior under working conditions with molecular precision. Here we report the first systematic investigation of the size transformation products of the Au22(SG)18 nanocluster under representative working conditions and highlight the surface effect on the transformation kinetics. Under thermal and aerobic conditions, the consecutive and pH-dependent transformation from Au22 to both well-defined clusters and small Au(I)SR species was identified by ESI–MS and UV–vis spectroscopy. By introducing a perturbation onto the Au22 surface, significant changes in the activation parameters were determined from the kinetic study of the Au22 transformation. This indicates the sensitivity of the nanocluster transformation pathway to the cluster surface. The systematic study of cluster transformation and the sensitivity of cluster transformation to the surface revealed herein has significant implications for future attempts to design gold nanoparticles with adaptation to the working environment and the regeneration of active nanoparticles."

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