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Quantized Capacitance Charging Of Monolayer-Protected Au Clusters

S. Chen, R. Murray, S. Feldberg
Published 1998 · Chemistry

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A theoretical model based on electrostatic interactions is developed to account for the formal potentials of current peaks observed in differential pulse voltammetry of solutions of 10 different nanometer-sized alkylthiolate and arylthiolate monolayer-protected gold clusters. The current peaks arise from successive, quantized (single-electron) capacitative charging of ensembles of individual cluster cores (i.e., electrochemical ensemble Coulomb staircase charging). Experimental peak potentials for a given cluster change roughly linearly with changes in its core charge state, as predicted by the theory, and the sub-attofarad capacitances (CCLU) of individual clusters obtained from the slopes of such plots agree with those estimated from a simple concentric sphere capacitor model. The charging of clusters with very small cores becomes redox molecule-like, indicating as reported recently, the emergence of HOMO−LUMO energy gaps. Because the quantized charging currents of the clusters are diffusion controlled,...
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