Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Departmental Colloquium - Atomically Precise Metal Clusters: Why are they stable and how can we use them?

Dr. Kevin Stamplecoskie,
Department of Chemistry, Queen’s University,

Friday September 29th,
1:30 p.m. Stirling A


Nanomaterials synthesis has advanced rapidly over the past several decades, to the point where it is now possible to synthesize atomically precise particles. These tiny particles are referred to as ‘clusters’ and they have exact numbers of atoms and stabilizing ligands. Importantly, the atomic precision affords materials researchers an unprecedented ability to tune the optical and electronic properties of materials. A large bank of different clusters, with variations in stabilizing ligands, the choice of metal or alloy, and/or the number of metal atoms, have been isolated. Owing to their extremely small size, even minor structural deviations can have dramatic effects on the electronic and optical properties of clusters.

An advantageous approach to synthesis and isolation of new clusters will be presented. The origin of particular cluster stability will be explored, and the unique optical properties of clusters will be highlighted in this seminar; especially as they relate to the structure of thiol protected, atomically precise gold clusters. The incorporation of atomically precise clusters in photovoltaic devices will be described in detail, as well as the use of photovoltaics to help elucidate some of the properties of clusters that are fundamental to their use in light harvesting and other applications.