(766c) Highly Luminescent Metal Nanoclusters (< 1 nm) for Chemical and Biological Sensor Development
Ultrasmall (< 1 nm) noble metal nanoclusters (NCs) present an emerging super-molecule consisting of several to a hundred metal atoms, and with very interesting chemical and physical properties which are not observed in single metal atoms and large metal nanocrystals (> 2 nm). Due to the strong quantum size confinement in this size regime (< 1 nm), NCs possess discrete and size-tunable electronic transitions, and display unique molecule-like properties, such as quantized charging and luminescence. Strong luminescence is one of the most attractive features for these NCs due to their ultrafine size, good photostability, and low toxicity, some of which could not be realized by other luminophores such as organic dyes (e.g., poor photostability) and semiconductor quantum dots (e.g., toxicity concerns). This presentation will summarize our recent work in the development of novel synthetic routes for highly luminescent metal NCs, and for sensor applications for various analytes, such as toxic metal ions and biomolecules.