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Chirality in Thiolate-Protected Gold Clusters

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Published in Accounts of Chemical Research. 2014, vol. 47, no. 4, p. 1318-1326
Abstract Over recent years, research on thiolate-protected gold clusters Aum(SR)n has gained significant interest. Milestones were the successful determination of a series of crystal structures (Au102(SR)44, Au25(SR)18, Au38(SR)24, Au36(SR)24, and Au28(SR)20). For Au102(SR)44, Au38(SR)24, and Au28(SR)20, intrinsic chirality was found. Strong Cotton effects (circular dichroism, CD) of gold clusters protected by chiral ligands have been reported a long time ago, indicating the transfer of chiral information from the ligand into the cluster core. Our lab has done extensive studies on chiral thiolate-protected gold clusters, including those protected with chiral ligands. We demonstrated that vibrational circular dichroism can serve as a useful tool for the determination of conformation of the ligand on the surface of the cluster. The first reports on crystal structures of Au102(SR)44 and Au38(SR)24 revealed the intrinsic chirality of these clusters. Their chirality mainly arises from the arrangement of the ligands on the surface of the cluster cores. As achiral ligands are used to stabilize the clusters, racemic mixtures are obtained. However, the separation of the enantiomers by HPLC was demonstrated which enabled the measurement of their CD spectra. Thermally induced inversion allows determination of the activation parameters for their racemization. The inversion demonstrates that the gold–thiolate interface is anything but fixed; in contrast, it is rather flexible. This result is of fundamental interest and needs to be considered in future applications. A second line of our research is the selective introduction of chiral, bidentate ligands into the ligand layer of intrinsically chiral gold clusters. The ligand exchange reaction is highly diastereoselective. The bidentate ligand connects two of the protecting units on the cluster surface and thus effectively stabilizes the cluster against thermally induced inversion. A minor (but significant) influence of chiral ligands to the CD spectra of the clusters is observed. The studied system represents the first example of an intrinsically chiral gold cluster with a defined number of exchanged ligands, full control over their regio- and stereochemistry. The methodology allows for the selective preparation of mixed-ligand cluster compounds and a thorough investigation of the influence of single ligands on the cluster's properties. Overall, the method enables even more detailed tailoring of properties. Still, central questions remain unanswered: (1) Is intrinsic chirality a ubiquitous feature of thiolate-protected gold clusters? (2) How does chirality transfer work? (3) What are the applications for chiral thiolate-protected gold clusters? In this Account, we summarize the main findings on chirality in thiolate-protected gold cluster of the past half decade. Emphasis is put on intrinsically chiral clusters and their structures, optical activity, and reactivity.
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Research group Groupe Bürgi
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KNOPPE, Stefan, BUERGI, Thomas. Chirality in Thiolate-Protected Gold Clusters. In: Accounts of Chemical Research, 2014, vol. 47, n° 4, p. 1318-1326. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:94109

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Deposited on : 2017-05-10

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