Nanoclusters (NCs) of several to hundreds of atoms in size are prospective functional units for future nanomaterials originating in their unique, size-specific properties. To explore the field of NC-based materials science, the development of large-scale, size-exclusive synthesis methods is in high demand, as one can see from the successful evolution of fullerene science. We have developed a large-scale synthesis method for main group-based NC compounds by scaling up the clean dry-process with a high-power impulse magnetron sputtering. The 100 mg scale synthesis of binary NCs of M@Si16 (M = Ti and Ta) stabilized by poly(ethylene glycol) dimethyl ether enables us to characterize their structures by an array of methods, for example, mass spectroscopy, X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and 29Si nuclear magnetic resonance. Spectroscopic evidence indicates that the M@Si16 NCs are the metal-encapsulating tetrahedral silicon-cage structure satisfying the 68 electrons, closed-electronic-shell superatom.
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