The Nature of Bonding between Argon and Mixed Gold-Silver Trimers

Armin Shayeghi, Roy L. Johnston, David M. Rayner, Rolf Schäfer, André Fielicke

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41 Citations (Scopus)
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The controversial nature of chemical bonding between noble gases and noble metals is addressed. Experimental evidence of exceptionally strong Au-Ar bonds in Ar complexes of mixed Au-Ag trimers is presented. IR spectra reveal an enormous influence of the attached Ar atoms on vibrational modes, particularly in Au-rich trimers, where Ar atoms are heavily involved owing to a relativistically enhanced covalency. In Ag-rich trimers, vibrational transitions of the metal framework predominate, indicating a pure electrostatic character of the Ag-Ar bonds. The experimental findings are analyzed by means of DFT calculations, which show how the relativistic differences between Au and Ag are manifested in stronger Au-Ar binding energies. Because of the ability to vary composition and charge distribution, the trimers serve as ideal model systems to study the chemical nature of the bonding of noble gases to closed-shell systems containing gold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10675-10680
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie (International Edition)
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2015


  • chemical bonding
  • clusters
  • IR spectroscopy
  • noble gases
  • noble metals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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