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Sandwich‐Kernelled AgCu Nanoclusters with Golden Ratio Geometry and Promising Photothermal Efficiency

Metal nanoclusters have recently attracted extensive interest from the scientific community. However, unlike carbon-based materials and metal nanocrystals, they rarely exhibit a sheet kernel structure, probably owing to the instability caused by the high exposure of metal atoms (particularly in the relatively less noble Ag or Cu nanoclusters) in such a structure. Herein, we synthesized a novel AgCu nanocluster with a sandwich-like kernel (diameter = ~0.9 nm and length = ~0.25 nm) by introducing the furfuryl mercaptan ligand (FUR) and the alloying strategy. Interestingly, the kernel consists of a centered silver atom and two planar Ag10 pentacle units with completely mirrored symmetry after a rotation of 36 degrees. The two Ag10 pentacles and some extended structures show an unreported golden ratio geometry, and the two inner five-membered rings and the centered Ag atom form an unanticipated full-metal ferrocene-like structure. The featured kernel structure causes the dominant radial direction transition of excitation electrons, as determined via time-dependent density functional theory calculations, which affords the protruding absorption at 612 nm and contributes to the promising photothermal conversion efficiency of 67.6% of the as-obtained nanocluster, having important implications for structure-property correlation and the development of nanocluser-based photothermal materials.

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