Critical Size for the Observation of Quantum Confinement in Optically Excited Gold Clusters

Oleg Varnavski †, Guda Ramakrishna ‡, Junhyung Kim ‡, Dongil Lee *‡§ and Theodore Goodson *†J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132 (1), pp 16–17


We present a systematic study of optical properties of a series of hexanethiolate-capped Au clusters of varying sizes using femtosecond transient absorption, time-resolved fluorescence, and two-photon absorption cross-sectional measurements. An abrupt change in optical properties and their trends has been found at the 2.2 nm size. Displacively excited vibrations with a period of 450 fs have been detected in the transient absorption signal for smaller clusters ≤2.2 nm. These results strongly suggest an emerging optical gap between the highest occupied and lowest unoccupied orbitals in the narrow size range at 2.2 nm.