Complexes with Atomic Gold Ions: Efficient Bis-Ligand Formation

Felix Duensing, Elisabeth Gruber, Paul Martini, Marcelo Goulart, Michael Gatchell, Bilal Rasul, Olof Echt, Fabio Zappa, Masoomeh Mahmoodi-Darian*, Paul Scheier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Complexes of atomic gold with a variety of ligands have been formed by passing helium nanodroplets (HNDs) through two pickup cells containing gold vapor and the vapor of another dopant, namely a rare gas, a diatomic molecule (H2, N2, O2, I2, P2 ), or various polyatomic molecules (H2O, CO2, SF6, C6H6, adamantane, imidazole, dicyclopentadiene, and fullerene). The doped HNDs were irradiated by electrons; ensuing cations were identified in a high-resolution mass spectrome-ter. Anions were detected for benzene, dicyclopentadiene, and fullerene. For most ligands L, the abundance distribution of AuLn+ versus size n displays a remarkable enhancement at n = 2. The propensity towards bis-ligand formation is attributed to the formation of covalent bonds in Au+L2 which adopt a dumbbell structure, L-Au+-L, as previously found for L = Xe and C60 . Another interest-ing observation is the effect of gold on the degree of ionization-induced intramolecular fragmentation. For most systems gold enhances the fragmentation, i.e., intramolecular fragmentation in AuLn + is larger than in pure Ln+ . Hydrogen, on the other hand, behaves differently, as intramolecular fragmentation in Au(H2 )n+ is weaker than in pure (H2 )n+ by an order of magnitude.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3484
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jun-2021


  • Clusters
  • Gold complexes
  • Ligands
  • Mass spectrometry

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