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Modelization of stable metal clusters containing Group 11 elements

Abstract : The work described in this manuscript concerns electronic structure calculations of homo- and hetero-nuclear clusters made of group 11 metals, in order to rationalize their stability, structure and in some cases properties. We have first looked at the fact that copper superatoms are very scarce, contrarily to their gold and silver counterparts. Our calculations indicate that copper superatoms are more stable than silver superatoms. However, the synthetic process based on the reduction of Cu(I) complexes by borohydride leads preferentially to the formation of very stable Cu(I) polyhydrides. On the other hand, we have looked at the stability of clusters containing a tetrahedral M₁₆ core similar to the one contained in the emblematic [Au₂₀] cluster. Our investigation of the 20-electron organometallic clusters [M₁₆Ni₂₄(CO)₄₀]⁴⁻ (M = group 11) showed that the four peripheral Ni₆(CO)₁₀ units are full part of the superatom entity, suggesting that the [M₁₆]⁴⁻ entity is not viable. Calculations on several homo- and hetero-nuclear series of bare species indicate that this instability can be avoided either in reducing the electron count to 18, or in incorporating a supplementary element in cluster center. In another investigation, we explored the possibility of doping the icosahedral 18-electron [WAu₁₂] cluster by 0-electron donor platinum atoms, namely [WAu₁₂Pdₓ] (x = 1-4). Calculations indicate that some isomers are stable and have a large spectrum of UV-vis absorption, providing them potential applications. Finally, we have investigated the electronic structure of organometallic clusters, [Cu₃Zn₄Cp*5] and [Cu₂Zn₅Cp*₅]⁺, which are apparently extremely electron-deficient and showed that this deficiency is not as large as it appears.
Keywords : Superatoms Clusters DFT
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Franck Gam. Modelization of stable metal clusters containing Group 11 elements. Inorganic chemistry. Université Rennes 1; Universidad Andrés Bello (Santiago), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018REN1S048⟩. ⟨tel-02009999⟩

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