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Atomically Precise Metal Nanoclusters: Structure, Dynamics and Catalysis

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Technical Report,15 Apr 2015,14 Apr 2018

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Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh United States

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We have fulfilled the central goal of our project, which is to investigate the structure and properties of atomically precise, ligand-protected metal nanoclusters in the size range from tens to hundreds of atoms. Such new materials have found major applications in catalysis for energy conversion, including CO2 reduction to fuels and water splitting to H2. The evolution of electronic and optical properties with cluster size is discovered to impact the catalytic reactivity. The correlations between the structure and catalytic reactivity have been mapped out. We have developed capabilities for controlling gold and bimetallic nanoclusters at the singleatom levelincluding heteroatom doping. Such capabilities are particularly important for designing atomefficient new materials with tailored properties to meet specific energy and catalysis needs. Characterization of the atomic structures of nanoclusters enabled fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of the catalyzed reactions. Heteroatom substitution in gold nanoclusters allowed us to probe the atomiclevel sensitivity of the nanoclusters electronic, optical and catalytic properties, and also to impart the nanocluster with new properties. We have gained insights into how the structure of nanocluster catalysts can be manipulated for catalytic processes. Such new insights will benefit rational design of highly efficient catalysts.

Subject Categories:

  • Miscellaneous Materials
  • Crystallography
  • Physical Chemistry

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