Al13 and B@Al12 superatoms on a molecularly decorated substrate

Masahiro Shibuta, Tomoya Inoue, Toshiaki Kamoshida, Toyoaki Eguchi, Atsushi Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Aluminum nanoclusters (Aln NCs), particularly Al13 (n = 13), exhibit superatomic behavior with interplay between electron shell closure and geometrical packing in an anionic state. To fabricate superatom (SA) assemblies, substrates decorated with organic molecules can facilitate the optimization of cluster–surface interactions, because the molecularly local interactions for SAs govern the electronic properties via molecular complexation. In this study, Aln NCs are soft-landed on organic substrates pre-deposited with n-type fullerene (C60) and p-type hexa-tert-butyl-hexa-peri-hexabenzocoronene (HB-HBC, C66H66), and the electronic states of Aln are characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and chemical oxidative measurements. On the C60 substrate, Aln is fixed to be cationic but highly oxidative; however, on the HB-HBC substrate, they are stably fixed as anionic Aln without any oxidations. The results reveal that the careful selection of organic molecules controls the design of assembled materials containing both Al13 and boron-doped B@Al12 SAs through optimizing the cluster–surface interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1336
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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