Variation of the core atomic structure of thiolated (AuxAg1– x) 312±55 nanoclusters with composition from aberration-corrected HAADF STEM

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Colleges, School and Institutes


We have investigated the atomic structure of thiol-protected (AuxAg1– x)312±55 clusters as a function of composition (x) by using aberration-corrected Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM), in High Angle Annular Dark Field (HAADF) mode, combined with multislice electron scattering simulations of the STEM images. Three structural motifs are considered: icosahedral, fcc, and ino-decahedral. A combination of STEM intensity and diameter measurement is used to “fractionate” the deposited sample according to composition for atomic resolution imaging. We find that the structure depends critically on composition: the icosahedral structure dominates in Ag-rich clusters, while the fcc structure dominates in Au-rich clusters. The ino-decahedral structure was only observed in clusters with Au content greater than 30%.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11114–11119
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number20
Early online date13 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2015