We have prepared Au15 quantum clusters anchored to α, β, and γcyclodextrin (CD) cavities. The synthesis process involves the core etching of larger clusters and the simultaneous trapping of the clusters formed inside the CD cavities. The clusters were characterized by various tools, such as optical absorption and luminescence spectroscopies, electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), circular dichroism spectroscopy, and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (2D NMR) spectroscopy. Trapping of the cluster in the CD cavity was proven by circular dichroism and also by rotational Overhauser effect spectroscopy (ROESY), in terms of the distinct cross peak between proton "e" of the glutathione (-SG) ligand and the ∼3 "e" proton of CD. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) studies showed a hydrodynamic diameter of ∼3-4 nm, indicating one CD molecule per cluster with an extension of one water of hydration. The clusters are intensely luminescent, with major lifetime components of 28, 71, and 24 ps for Au 15@ αCD, Au15atβCD, and Au 15atγCD, respectively. The clusters also are strongly luminescent in the solid state. Both in the solution and in the solid state, the luminescence is sensitive to solvents/vapors. The clusters adhere to glass plates, and the solvent dependency of luminescence was used to create patterns that are erased upon gradual evaporation of the solvent. This self-erasing property was further demonstrated with clusters supported on a thin layer chromatography (TLC) plate. Selective detection of metal ions using the luminescence of the clusters is reported. Evaporation of the cluster solutions leads to luminescent gel-like materials. © 2011 American Chemical Society.