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Depletion Driven Assembly of Ultrasmall Metal Nanoclusters: From Kinetically Arrested Assemblies to Thermodynamically Stable, Spherical Superclusters
Bera D., Baruah M., Dehury A.K., Chaudhary Y.S., Goswami N.,
Published in American Chemical Society
PMID: 36191241
Volume: 13
Issue: 40
Pages: 9411 - 9421
Nanoscale assembly of ultrasmall metal nanoclusters (MNCs) by means of molecular forces has proven to be a powerful strategy to engineer their molecule-like properties in multiscale dimensions. By leveraging depletion attraction as the guiding force, herein, we demonstrate the formation of kinetically trapped NCs assemblies with enhanced photoluminescence (PL) and excited state lifetimes and extend the principle to cluster impregnated cationic nanogels, nonluminescent Au(I)-thiolate complexes, and weakly luminescent CuNCs. We further demonstrate a thermal energy driven kinetic barrier breaking process to isolate these assemblies. These isolated assemblies are thermodynamically stable, built from a strong network among several discrete, ultrasmall AuNCs and exhibit several unusual properties such as high stability in various pH, strong PL, microsecond lifetimes, large Stocks shifts, and higher accumulation in the lysosome of cancer cells. We anticipate our strategy may find wider use in creating a large variety of MNC-based assemblies with many unforeseen arrangements, properties, and applications. © 2022 American Chemical Society.
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Published in American Chemical Society
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