Centre d’Élaboration de Matériaux et d’Etudes Structurales (UPR 8011)

Accueil > Recherche > SINanO : Surfaces, Interfaces et Nano-Objets > Thématiques de Recherche

Interaction between crystalline surfaces and their environment : functionalization and reactivity

SINanO Highlights


Global optimization of neutral and charged 20- and 55-atom silver and gold clusters at the DFTB level


Nathalie Tarrat, Mathias Rapacioli, Jérôme Cuny, Joseph Morillo, Jean-Louis Heully, Fernand Spiegelman

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The global optimization of metallic clusters is an important topic because nanoclusters exhibit structure-dependent properties. In this paper, we present a global optimization study of Ag20, Au20, Ag55 and Au55 in their neutral and charge states (-1, 0, +1) conducted using a Parallel-Tempering Molecular Dynamics algorithm at the DFTB level without pre-screening. For Au20, Ag20 and their ions, the present DFTB low energy structures are in good agreement with previously published calculations and experimental data. In the case of Ag55- and Au55-, the present study is consistent with photo-electron detachment experiments suggesting highly symmetric icosahedral structures for silver and more disordered morphologies for gold. The present results are also compatible with trapped ion electron diffraction experiments and calculations for Ag55+ and Ag55-. We report low-energy isomers of Au55 exhibiting cavities below their external shell. This work quantitatively confirms the relevance of DFTB for structure calculation of noble metal clusters. Furthermore, it also demonstrates the feasibility of global optimization using DFTB, without pre-screening through classical potential, for sizes up to a few tens of atoms and for different charge states.


Adsorption energy of small molecules on core-shell Fe@Au nanoparticles  : tuning by shell thickness

Magali Benoit, Nathalie Tarrat and Joseph Morillo

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The adsorption of several small molecules on different gold surfaces, Au(001), strained Au(001) and Au(001) epitaxied on Fe(001), has been characterized using density functional theory. The surface strain leads to a less energetically favourable adsorption for all studied molecules. Moreover, the presence of the iron substrate induces an additional decrease of the binding energy, for 1 and 2 Au monolayers. For carbon monoxide CO, the structural and energetic variations with the number of Au monolayers deposited on Fe have been analyzed and correlated with the distance between the carbon atom and the gold surface. The effect of the subsurface layer has been evidenced for 1 and 2 monolayers. The other molecules show different quantitative behavior depending on the type of their interaction with the gold surface. However, the iron substrate weakens the interaction, either for the chemisorbed species or for the physisorbed ones. 2 Au monolayers seems like the best compromise to decrease the reactivity of the gold surface towards adsorption while preventing the Fe oxidation.


Benchmarking DFTB for Silver and Gold Materials : From Small Clusters to Bulk 

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We benchmark existing and improved self-consistent-charge density functional based tight-binding (SCC-DFTB) atomic parameters for silver and gold clusters as well as for bulk materials. In the former case, our benchmarks focus on both the structural and energetic properties of small-size AgN and AuN clusters (N from 2 to 13), medium-size clusters with N = 20 and 55, and finally larger nanoparticles with N = 147, 309 and 561. For bulk materials, structural, energetics and elastic properties are discussed. We show that SCC-DFTB is quite satisfactory in reproducing essential differences between silver and gold aggregates, in particular their 2D-3D structural transitions, and their depen- dency upon cluster charge. SCC-DFTB is also in agreement with DFT and experiments in the medium-size regime regarding the energetic ordering of the different low-energy isomers and allows for an overall satisfactory treatment of bulk properties. A consistent convergence between the cohesive energies of the largest investigated nanoparticles and the bulk’s is obtained. Based on our results for nanoparticles of increasing size, a two- parameter analytical extrapolation of the cohesive energy is proposed. This formula takes into account the reduction of the cohesive energy for undercoordinated surface sites and converges properly to the bulk cohesive energy. Values for the surface sites cohesive energies are also proposed.