Thermal stability of crown-motif [Au_{9}(PPh~{3})_{8}]~{3+} and [MAu_{8}(PPh_{3})_{8}]~{2+} (M = Pd, Pt) clusters: Effects of gas composition, single-atom doping, and counter anions
T. Matsuyama, S. Kikkawa, Y. Fujiki, M. Tsukada, H. Takaya, N. Yasuda, K. Nitta, N. Nakatani, Y. Negishi, S. Yamazoe
J. Chem. Phys., Accepted.

The thermal behaviors of ligand-protected metal clusters, [Au9(PPh3)8]3+ and [MAu8(PPh3)8]2+ (M = Pd, Pt) with a crown-motif structure, were investigated to determine the effects of the gas composition, single-atom doping, and counter anions on the thermal stability of these clusters. We successfully synthesized crown-motif [PdAu8(PPh3)8][HPMo12O40] (PdAu8-PMo12) and [PtAu8(PPh3)8][HPMo12O40] (PtAu8-PMo12) salts with a cesium-chloride-type structure, which is the same as the [Au9(PPh3)8][PMo12O40] (Au9-PMo12) structure. TG-DTA-MS analysis revealed that the crown-motif structure of Au9-PMo12 was decomposed at ca. 475 K without weight loss to form Au nanoparticles. After structural decomposition, the ligands were desorbed from the sample. The ligand-desorption temperature of Au9-PMo12 increased under 20% O2 conditions because of the formation of Au nanoparticles and stronger interaction of the formed O=PPh3 than PPh3. The Pd and Pt single-atom doping improved the thermal stability of the clusters. This improvement was due to the formation of a large bonding index of M-Au and a change of Au‒PPh3 bonding energy by heteroatom doping. Moreover, we found that the ligand desorption temperatures were also affected by the type of counter anions, whose charge and size influence the localized Coulomb interaction and cluster packing between the cationic ligand-protected metal clusters and counter anions.