Structures of Neutral Au7, Au19, and Au20 Clusters in the Gas Phase

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Science  01 Aug 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5889, pp. 674-676
DOI: 10.1126/science.1161166

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The catalytic properties of gold nanoparticles are determined by their electronic and geometric structures. We revealed the geometries of several small neutral gold clusters in the gas phase by using vibrational spectroscopy between 47 and 220 wavenumbers. A two-dimensional structure for neutral Au7 and a pyramidal structure for neutral Au20 can be unambiguously assigned. The reduction of the symmetry when a corner atom is cut from the tetrahedral Au20 cluster is directly reflected in the vibrational spectrum of Au19.

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