Chemically reversible isomerization of inorganic clusters

Curtis B. Williamson, Douglas R. Nevers, Andrew Nelson, Ido Hadar, Uri Banin*, Tobias Hanrath, Richard D. Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Structural transformations in molecules and solids have generally been studied in isolation, whereas intermediate systems have eluded characterization. We show that a pair of cadmium sulfide (CdS) cluster isomers provides an advantageous experimental platform to study isomerization in well-defined, atomically precise systems. The clusters coherently interconvert over an ~1–electron volt energy barrier with a 140–milli–electron volt shift in their excitonic energy gaps. There is a diffusionless, displacive reconfiguration of the inorganic core (solid-solid transformation) with first order (isomerization-like) transformation kinetics. Driven by a distortion of the ligand-binding motifs, the presence of hydroxyl species changes the surface energy via physisorption, which determines “phase” stability in this system. This reaction possesses essential characteristics of both solid-solid transformations and molecular isomerizations and bridges these disparate length scales.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)731-735
Number of pages5
Issue number6428
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2019

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