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    The design of surface ligands is crucial for ligand-protected gold nanoclusters (Au NCs). Besides providing good protection for Au NCs, the surface ligands also play the following two important roles: i) as the outermost layer of Au NCs, the ligands will directly interact with the exterior environment (e.g., solvents, molecules and cells) influencing Au NCs in various applications; and ii) the interfacial chemistry between ligands and gold atoms can determine the structures, as well as the physical and chemical properties of Au NCs. A delicate ligand design in Au NCs (or other metal NCs) needs to consider the covalent bonds between ligands and gold atoms (e.g., gold-sulfur (Au-S) and gold-phosphorus (Au-P) bond), the physics forces between ligands (e.g., hydrophobic and van der Waals forces), and the ionic forces between the functional groups of ligands (e.g., carboxylic (COOH) and amine group (NH2 )); which form the underlying chemistry and discussion focus of this review article. Here, detailed discussions on the effects of surface ligands (e.g., thiolate, phosphine, and alkynyl ligands; or hydrophobic and hydrophilic ligands) on the synthesis, structures, and properties of Au NCs; highlighting the design principles in the surface engineering of Au NCs for diverse emerging applications, are provided. © 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


    Bihan Zhang, Jishi Chen, Yitao Cao, Osburg Jin Huang Chai, Jianping Xie. Ligand Design in Ligand-Protected Gold Nanoclusters. Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany). 2021 Jul;17(27):e2004381

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    PMID: 33511773

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