Submonolayer coverages of chemically synthesised triphenylphosphine-protected Au9 clusters on mica and TiO2 substrates were achieved through the development of a Pulsed Nozzle Cluster Deposition (PNCD) technique under high vacuum conditions. This method offers the deposition of pre-prepared, solvated clusters directly onto substrates in a vacuum without the potential for contamination from the atmosphere. AFM and TEM were used to investigate the rate of gold cluster deposition as a function of cluster solution concentration and the number of pulses, with pulse number showing the most effective control of the final deposition conditions. TEM and XPS were used to determine that the clusters retained their unique properties through the deposition process. Methanol solvent deposited in the PNCD process has been shown to be removable through post-deposition treatments. A physical model describing the vapour behaviour and solvent evaporation in a vacuum is also developed and presented. This journal is
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank A/Prof Vladimir Golovko (Canterbury University) for providing access to the Au9(PPh3)8(NO3)3 clusters. We also wish to acknowledge the efforts of Dr Toshiaki Takei (NIMS-MANA) in assisting with TEM measurements. The work is supported by the US army project FA5209-16-R-0017. The work is also supported by the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative (ASTRI) program, which is supported by the Australian Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The authors acknowledge the expertise, equipment, and support provided by the Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF) and the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) at Flinders University.
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- Sub-monolayer Au9
- cluster formation
- pulsed nozzle cluster deposition