Ubiquitous 8 and 29 kDa gold:alkanethiolate cluster compounds: mass-spectrometric determination of molecular formulas and structural implications

J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Jul 9;130(27):8608-10. doi: 10.1021/ja8005379. Epub 2008 Jun 12.


The molecular formulas and charge state distributions of thus-far known ubiquitous alkanethiolate-protected gold clusters with core-masses of 8 and 29 kDa were assessed using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The 8 and 29 kDa clusters were determined to be composed of single species, [Au38(SCn)24]z and [Au144(SCn)59]z, respectively, with charge states of z >/= 0. Possible geometric structures for Au38(SCn)24 and Au144(SCn)59 are discussed, based on the structures of relevant systems that have been recently determined experimentally and theoretically: [Au25(SR)18]- and Au102(SR)44, in which the Au cores are protected by monomers [-SR-Au-SR-] and/or dimers [-SR-Au-SR-Au-SR-]. Their preferential formation and chemical robustness are proposed as being associated with high stability due to geometric factors, while the Au-thiolate interface takes on common motifs regardless of the underlying Au core.