Stabilized gold clusters: from isolation toward controlled synthesis

Nanoscale. 2012 Jul 21;4(14):4027-37. doi: 10.1039/c2nr30900a. Epub 2012 Jun 20.


Bare metal clusters with fewer than ∼100 atoms exhibit intrinsically unique and size-specific properties, making them promising functional units or building blocks for novel materials. To utilize such clusters in functional materials, they need to be stabilized against coalescence by employing organic ligands, polymers, and solid materials. To realize rational development of cluster-based materials, it is essential to clarify how the stability and nature of clusters are modified by interactions with stabilizers by characterizing isolated clusters. The next stage is to design on-demand function by intentionally controlling the structural parameters of cluster-based materials; such parameters include the size, composition, and atomic arrangement of clusters and the interfacial structure between clusters and stabilizers. This review summarizes the current state of the art of isolation of gold clusters stabilized in various environments and surveys ongoing efforts to precisely control the structural parameters with atomic level accuracy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dendrimers / chemistry
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology
  • Phosphines / chemistry
  • Polyvinyls / chemistry
  • Porphyrins / chemistry
  • Pyrrolidines / chemistry
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / chemistry


  • Dendrimers
  • Phosphines
  • Polyvinyls
  • Porphyrins
  • Pyrrolidines
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • poly(N-vinylpyrrolidine)
  • Gold