Monolayer-protected metal nanoclusters (MPCs) were investigated to probe their fundamental excitation and emission properties. In particular, gold MPCs were probed by steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic measurements; the results were used to examine the mechanism of emission in relation to the excited states in these systems. In steady-state measurements, the photoluminescence of gold clusters in the range of 25 to 140 atoms was considerably stronger relative to larger particle analogues. The increase in emission efficiency (for Au25, Au55, and Au140 on the order of 10-5) over bulk gold may arise from a different mechanism of photoluminescence, as suggested by measurements on larger gold spheres and rods. Results of fluorescence upconversion found considerably longer lifetimes for smaller gold particles than for larger particles. Measurements of the femtosecond transient absorption of the smaller clusters suggested dramatically different behavior than what was observed for larger particles. These results, combined with the result of a new bleach band in the transient absorption signal (which is presumably due to an unforeseen ground state absorption), suggest that quantum size effects and associated discrete molecular-like state structure play a key role in enhanced visible fluorescence of small clusters.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films