Self-Regulated Pathway-Dependent Chirality Control of Silver Nanoclusters

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2022 Aug 22;61(34):e202208273. doi: 10.1002/anie.202208273. Epub 2022 Jul 13.


Imparting chirality affords additive values, functions and responsiveness in molecular systems including nanoscale materials. Here, we report pathway-dependent chirality control in silver nanoclusters (NCs). The use of enantiomeric ligand, α-dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA), for the synthesis of Ag NCs leads to the preferential formation of one-handed chiral Ag29 (DHLA)12 NCs with intrinsic chirality in the exterior shell composed of a silver-dithiolate framework. Small Lewis base molecules such as pyridine bind to silver atoms in the shell of NC as a guest. The guest binding reverses the relative stability between the right- and left-handed NCs upon a steric interaction with the chiral ligand DHLA in the exterior shell in a kinetic manner, leading to unprecedented chirality inversion in the synthesis of NCs. This mechanism is further extended to the self-regulation or self-replication of chirality through interNC interactions dependent on the concentration in the synthesis of NCs.

Keywords: Chirality; Cluster Compounds; Host-Guest Systems; Molecular Recognition; Self-Assembly.