Journal Highlight: Chiral gold nanoclusters: Atomic level origins of chirality

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  • Published: Sep 11, 2017
  • Author: spectroscopyNOW
  • Channels: X-ray Spectrometry
thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: Chiral gold nanoclusters: Atomic level origins of chirality

The use of single-crystal X-ray crystallography to study the chirality of atomically precise thiolate-protected gold nanoclusters, which have emerged as a new class of nanomaterial, has been reviewed.

Chiral gold nanoclusters: Atomic level origins of chirality

Chemistry – An Asian Journal, 2017, 12, 1839-1850
Chenjie Zeng and Rongchao Jin

Abstract: Chiral nanomaterials have received wide interest in many areas, but the exact origin of chirality at the atomic level remains elusive in many cases. With recent significant progress in atomically precise gold nanoclusters (e.g., thiolate-protected Aun(SR)m), several origins of chirality have been unveiled based upon atomic structures determined by using single-crystal X-ray crystallography. The reported chiral Aun(SR)m structures explicitly reveal a predominant origin of chirality that arises from the Au–S chiral patterns at the metal–ligand interface, as opposed to the chiral arrangement of metal atoms in the inner core (i.e. kernel). In addition, chirality can also be introduced by a chiral ligand, manifested in the circular dichroism response from metal-based electronic transitions other than the ligand's own transition(s). Lastly, the chiral arrangement of carbon tails of the ligands has also been discovered in a very recent work on chiral Au133(SR)52 and Au246(SR)80 nanoclusters. Overall, the origins of chirality discovered in Aun(SR)m nanoclusters may provide models for the understanding of chirality origins in other types of nanomaterials and also constitute the basis for the development of various applications of chiral nanoparticles.

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