New taxonomy of platinum nanoclusters

Feb 20, 2013

The unexpected diversity of metallic nanoclusters' inner structure has now been catalogued into families. Physicists have gained new insights into the inner intricacies of the structural variations of metallic nanoclusters. This work by Luca Pavan, Cono Di Paola and Francesca Baletto from King's College London, UK, is about to be published in European Physical Journal D. It takes us one step closer to tailoring on-demand characteristics of metallic nanoparticles. Indeed, the geometric structure of these nanoclusters influences their chemical and physical properties, which differ from those of individual molecules and of bulk metals.

The problem resides in the difficulty in evaluating the optimal structure for such clusters in order to make them display specific properties and satisfy a particular technological need. This is because a system consisting of several interlinked atoms is far too complex for its optimal structure to be identified simply by resolving equations.

Instead, the authors applied a method, known as metadyamics, typically used to sample the energy landscape of biomolecules and proteins. This technique, quite new in the field of metallic , identifies structures corresponding to each minimum of the . In addition, this approach gains a better insight into the interconnection of various structural motifs at given temperatures.

Specifically, this study describes an iterative approach for metadynamics in order to detect which are the key structures of 13-atom-strong platinum nanoclusters. The authors focused on identifying the most recurrent motifs that can play an important role during structural transformations of the nanoclusters.

In addition, the team proposed a complete way of cataloguing such structural motifs in families. The next step would be to understand how different geometrical shapes are connected and evaluate the energy cost for each transformation, from one type of geometry to another. Applications could, for example, be found in nanocatalysis and nanodevices for magnetic storage.

Explore further: Researchers develop ultrahigh-resolution 3D microscopy technique for electric fields

More information: Pavan L., Di Paola C. and Baletto F. (2013), Sampling the Energy Landscape of Pt13 with Metadynamics, European Physical Journal D, DOI 0.1140/epjd/e2012-30560-y

Related Stories

Researchers find ordered atoms in glass materials

Oct 02, 2012

(Phys.org)—Scientists at Ames Laboratory have discovered the underlying order in metallic glasses, which may hold the key to the ability to create new high-tech alloys with specific properties.

Controlling the size of nanoclusters

Aug 19, 2008

Melissa Patterson, a W. Burghardt Turner Fellow at Stony Brook University (SBU), will give a talk at the American Chemical Society's national meeting in Philadelphia on controlling the size of nanoclusters, research she performed ...

A new use for atomically engineered gold

Aug 29, 2012

A University of Central Florida assistant professor has developed a new material using nanotechnology, which could help keep pilots and sensitive equipment safe from destructive lasers.

Recommended for you

Could black phosphorus be the next silicon?

9 hours ago

As scientists continue to hunt for a material that will make it possible to pack more transistors on a chip, new research from McGill University and Université de Montréal adds to evidence that black phosphorus ...

Better memory with faster lasers

Jul 02, 2015

DVDs and Blu-ray disks contain so-called phase-change materials that morph from one atomic state to another after being struck with pulses of laser light, with data "recorded" in those two atomic states. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.