The interaction of alkanethiolates with small coinage metal clusters of copper and gold was studied based on density functional theory with a focus on the metal-thiolate junction. Calculation of fragmentation energies indicate that for Cun-thiolate (n = 1,3,5,7, and 9) there is a progressive lowering in energy for the fragmentation of the S-C bond in the thiolate from a value of 2.9 eV for n = 1 to 1.4 eV for n = 9. The detailed electronic origins of this specific weakening are attributed to a polarization of electron density in the S-C bond as induced by bonding with the Cun cluster. For the gold analogues, this effect is not observed and fragmentation at the S-C bond experiences only a slight 10% destabilization as n increases from 3 to 9. The relativistic origin of this difference between Cu and Au is discussed, and an analysis of bonding considerations is presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry