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Title: Bright NIR‐II Photoluminescence in Rod‐Shaped Icosahedral Gold Nanoclusters

Fluorophores with high quantum yields, extended maximum emission wavelengths, and long photoluminescence (PL) lifetimes are still lacking for sensing and imaging applications in the second near‐infrared window (NIR‐II). In this work, a series of rod‐shaped icosahedral nanoclusters with bright NIR‐II PL, quantum yields up to8%, and a peak emission wavelength of 1520 nm are reported. It is found that the bright NIR‐II emission arises from a previously ignored state with near‐zero oscillator strength in the ground‐state geometry and the central Au atom in the nanoclusters suppresses the non‐radiative transitions and enhances the overall PL efficiency. In addition, a framework is developed to analyze and relate the underlying transitions for the absorptions and the NIR‐II emissions in the Au nanoclusters based on the experimentally defined absorption coefficient. Overall, this work not only shows good performance of the rod‐shaped icosahedral series of Au nanoclusters as NIR‐II fluorophores, but also unravels the fundamental electronic transitions and atomic‐level structure‐property relations for the enhancement of the NIR‐II PL in gold nanoclusters. The framework developed here also provides a simple method to analyze the underlying electronic transitions in metal nanoclusters.

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Award ID(s):
2002891 2002936
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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