OPEN Nature communications | 10 Sep 2016
H Yang, Y Wang, X Chen, X Zhao, L Gu, H Huang, J Yan, C Xu, G Li, J Wu, AJ Edwards, B Dittrich, Z Tang, D Wang, L Lehtovaara, H Häkkinen and N Zheng
Determining the structures of nanoparticles at atomic resolution is vital to understand their structure-property correlations. Large metal nanoparticles with core diameter beyond 2 nm have, to date, eluded characterization by single-crystal X-ray analysis. Here we report the chemical syntheses and structures of two giant thiolated Ag nanoparticles containing 136 and 374 Ag atoms (that is, up to 3 nm core diameter). As the largest thiolated metal nanoparticles crystallographically determined so far, these Ag nanoparticles enter the truly metallic regime with the emergence of surface plasmon resonance. As miniatures of fivefold twinned nanostructures, these structures demonstrate a subtle distortion within fivefold twinned nanostructures of face-centred cubic metals. The Ag nanoparticles reported in this work serve as excellent models to understand the detailed structure distortion within twinned metal nanostructures and also how silver nanoparticles can span from the molecular to the metallic regime.
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