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Carborane-thiol protected copper nanoclusters: stimuli-responsive materials with tunable phosphorescence
A. Jana, M. Jash, W.A. Dar, J. Roy, P. Chakraborty, G. Paramasivam, S. Lebedkin, K. Kirakci, S. Manna, S. AntharjanamShow More
Published in Royal Society of Chemistry
Volume: 14
Issue: 6
Pages: 1613 - 1626
Atomically precise nanomaterials with tunable solid-state luminescence attract global interest. In this work, we present a new class of thermally stable isostructural tetranuclear copper nanoclusters (NCs), shortly Cu4@oCBT, Cu4@mCBT and Cu4@ICBT, protected by nearly isomeric carborane thiols: ortho-carborane-9-thiol, meta-carborane-9-thiol and ortho-carborane 12-iodo 9-thiol, respectively. They have a square planar Cu4 core and a butterfly-shaped Cu4S4 staple, which is appended with four respective carboranes. For Cu4@ICBT, strain generated by the bulky iodine substituents on the carboranes makes the Cu4S4 staple flatter in comparison to other clusters. High-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HR ESI-MS) and collision energy-dependent fragmentation, along with other spectroscopic and microscopic studies, confirm their molecular structure. Although none of these clusters show any visible luminescence in solution, bright μs-long phosphorescence is observed in their crystalline forms. The Cu4@oCBT and Cu4@mCBT NCs are green emitting with quantum yields (Φ) of 81 and 59%, respectively, whereas Cu4@ICBT is orange emitting with a Φ of 18%. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal the nature of their respective electronic transitions. The green luminescence of Cu4@oCBT and Cu4@mCBT clusters gets shifted to yellow after mechanical grinding, but it is regenerated after exposure to solvent vapour, whereas the orange emission of Cu4@ICBT is not affected by mechanical grinding. Structurally flattened Cu4@ICBT didn't show mechanoresponsive luminescence in contrast to other clusters, having bent Cu4S4 structures. Cu4@oCBT and Cu4@mCBT are thermally stable up to 400 °C. Cu4@oCBT retained green emission even upon heating to 200 °C under ambient conditions, while Cu4@mCBT changed from green to yellow in the same window. This is the first report on structurally flexible carborane thiol appended Cu4 NCs having stimuli-responsive tunable solid-state phosphorescence. © 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
About the journal
JournalChemical Science
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry