Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of Chemical Physics





DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

October 2015


Nanostructures of Au and Si as well as Au–Si hybrid structures are topics of great current interest from both scientific and technological points of view. Recent discovery of Au clusters having fullerenelike geometries and the possibility of endohedral complexes with Si atoms inside the Au cage opens new possibilities for designing Au–Si nanostructures. Using ab initio simulated annealing method we have examined the stability of Si–Au16 endohedral complex. Contrary to what we believed, we find that the endohedral configuration is metastable and the structure where Si atom binds to the exterior surface of the Au16 cage is the lowest energy structure. The bonding of Si to Au cluster mimics its behavior of that in bulk and liquid phase of Au. In addition, doping of Si in high concentration would cause fracture and embrittlement in gold nanostructures just as it does in the bulk phase. Covalent bonding between Au–Au and Au–Si is found to be a dominant feature in the stability of the Au–Si nanostructures. Our study provides insight that may be useful in fabricating hybrid Au–Si nanostructures for applications microelectronics, catalysis, biomedine, and jewelry industry.


Sun, Q., Wang, Q., Chen, G., et al. Structure of Si Au 16 : Can a silicon atom be stabilized in a gold cage?. The Journal of Chemical Physics 127, 214706 (2007). Copyright © 2007 AIP Publishing LLC.

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