Electronic shell structure and chemisorption on gold nanoparticles

Physical Review B 84, 245429 (2011)

Electronic shell structure and chemisorption on gold nanoparticles

Ask Hjorth Larsen, Jesper Kleis, Kristian Sommer Thygesen, Jens Nørskov, Karsten Wedel Jacobsen

We use density functional theory (DFT) to investigate the electronic structure and chemical properties of gold nanoparticles. Different structural families of clusters are compared. For up to 60 atoms we optimize structures using DFT-based simulated annealing. Cluster geometries are found to distort considerably, creating large band gaps at the Fermi level. For up to 200 atoms we consider structures generated with a simple EMT potential and clusters based on cuboctahedra and icosahedra. All types of cluster geometry exhibit jelliumlike electronic shell structure. We calculate adsorption energies of several atoms on the cuboctahedral clusters. Adsorption energies are found to vary abruptly at magic numbers. Using a Newns-Anderson model we find that the effect of magic numbers on adsorption energy can be understood from the location of adsorbate-induced states with respect to the cluster Fermi level.

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