Superatomic Nanoclusters Comprising Silicon or Aluminum Cages

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter describes two superatoms, each comprising a central atom and a silicon or aluminum cage. Binary nanoclusters (NCs) at optimized mixing ratios are key components in designing the functionalities relevant to their electronic properties. To form chemically robust functional NCs, it is important to design the cooperatively synergistic effects between the electronic and geometric structures because these stabilize the individual NCs not only against charge transfer into the corresponding cations or anions but also against structural perturbations in their assemblies. Among binary NCs, synergistic effects are particularly expected when one central atom encapsulating cage structure completes a specific electron shell because electronic and geometric factors can operate simultaneously. Although the term “superatom” is widely used when the valence electrons in NCs complete an electron shell, more synergistic effects appear when the superatom adopts a closepacked structure, such as a highly symmetric cage as a binary cage superatom. Representative examples are given for one central atom encapsulated by silicon and aluminum cages, M@Si16 and X@Al12, their formation and characterization are described, and a large-scale synthetic approach is established for M@Si16. The perspectives for binary cage superatom assembly are discussed in terms of theoretical calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhysical Chemistry of Cold Gas-Phase Functional Molecules and Clusters
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9789811393716
ISBN (Print)9789811393709
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


  • Aluminum cage, superatom salt
  • Binary cage superatom
  • Dimeric superatom
  • Nanocluster
  • Silicon cage
  • Superatom
  • Superatom assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Engineering


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