Solvent Effect on Redox Properties of Hexanethiolate Monolayer-Protected Gold Nanoclusters
The capacitance of monolayer-protected gold nanoclusters (MPCs), CMPC, in solution has been theoretically reconsidered from an electrostatic viewpoint, in which an MPC is considered as an isolated charged sphere within two dielectric layers, the intrinsic coating monolayer, and the bulk solvent. The model predicts that the bulk solvent provides an important contribution to CMPC and influences the redox properties of MPCs. This theoretical prediction is then examined experimentally by comparing the redox properties of MPCs in four organic solvents: 1,2-dichloroethane (DCE), dichloromethane (DCM), chlorobenzene (CB), and toluene (TOL), in all of which MPCs have excellent solubility. Furthermore, this set of organic solvents features a dielectric constant in a range from 10.37 (DCE) to 2.38 (TOL), which is wide enough to probe the solvent effect. In these organic solvents, tetrahexylammonium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (THATf2N) is used as the supporting electrolyte. Cyclic and differential pulse voltammetric results provide concrete evidence that, despite the monolayer protection, the solvent plays a significant effect on the properties of MPCs in solution.