Formation of Al13I-: Evidence for the Superhalogen Character of Al13

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Science  02 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5667, pp. 84-87
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093902

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Al13 is a cluster known for the pronounced stability that arises from coincident closures of its geometric and electronic shells. We present experimental evidence for a very stable cluster corresponding to Al13I. Ab initio calculations show that the cluster features a structurally unperturbed Al13 core and a region of high charge density on the aluminum vertex opposite from the iodine atom. This ionically bound magic cluster can be understood by considering that Al13 has an electronic structure reminiscent of a halogen atom. Comparisons to polyhalides provide a sound explanation for our chemical observations.

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