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  Journal of Nanoscience Letters. Volume 1, Issue 2 (2011) pp. 72-86
  Review Article
Atomically precise nanoparticles: A new frontier in nanoscience
  Rongchao Jin, Huifeng Qian, Yan Zhu, Anindita Das  
Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA
  Controlling nanoparticles with atomic precision has long been highly sought in nanoscience and is crucially important in order to fully understand the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles, in particular those surface-related phenomena, such as fluorescence blinking in quantum dots and catalysis of metal nanoparticles. This short Review article focuses on atomically precise metal nanoparticles that possess distinct quantum size effects in the size range from about ten to a few hundred atoms in the particle (often called nanoclusters). We use thiolate-protected gold nanoclusters (denoted as Aun(SR)m, where n=number of gold atoms) as an example in our discussions. Significant advances have been achieved recently in synthesizing well defined Aun(SR)m nanoclusters. Interestingly, the prominent surface plasmon resonance of metallic Au nanoparticles disappears in quantum-sized Aun(SR)m nanoclusters; the latter instead exhibit discrete electronic transitions. This new class of nanomaterial holds great potential in a number of applications, particularly in catalysis, optics, and nanoelectronics. A grand task yet to accomplish is to study the evolution from the molecule-like cluster state to the metallic state. Understanding how the material properties of nanoclusters evolve from the quantum confinement state to the plasmonic state is of paramount importance to both fundamental science and technological applications, and will impact a number of fields, including chemistry, materials science, and condensed matter physics.
  Gold; Nanoclusters; Quantum size effects; Atomic precision  

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