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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Apr 9;125(14):4046-7.

One-pot preparation of subnanometer-sized gold clusters via reduction and stabilization by meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid.

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  • 1Institute for Molecular Science, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.


We report herein a simple method to prepare subnanometer-sized gold clusters by the reactions between hydrogen tetrachloroaurate (HAuCl4) and meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA; HO2CCH(SH)CH(SH)CO2H) in water. It is demonstrated that DMSA molecules efficiently reduce the Au(III) species and stabilize the resultant gold clusters. The Au:DMSA clusters, which tend to aggregate into assemblages in water, can be well-isolated from each other by ion-pair formation between the carboxyl groups of DMSA and tetraoctylammonium (TOA) cations. This surface modification enables us to examine the core size distributions of the individual clusters by mass spectrometry and TEM. It is revealed that the gold clusters comprised of 10-13 atoms (ca. 0.8 nm) are the main products of the reactions.

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