Working Group 3

Confined Metal and Metal-Oxide Nanoparticles and Clusters Down to the Subnanometer Scale

Is focused on small metal and metal oxide nanoparticles in the size regime below 10 nm, where quantum confinement influences the system functionality. It is the regime of catalysis, photonics, and bio-sensing and thus connects directly with the world of technology, especially SMEs. The meeting will cover:

1) Recent advances in synthesis and surface-deposition of metal and metal/oxide nanoparticles and clusters from several nanometer-size nanoparticles to intermediate (1-4 nanometers) and subnanometer scale all the way to single metal atoms. Research on suitable combinations of materials, optimal size, structure and composition of nanoparticles and clusters for specific applications.

2) Experimental and theoretical characterization of the structural, physico-chemical, colloidal, magnetic, optoelectronic properties and (photo-)reactivity of novel nanomaterials linked to specific applications, such as (photo-) catalysis, sensing, imaging and bio-medicine. The objective is to establish correlations between the atomic architectures, confined electronic structures, and functional behaviour. The systems will be distinguished according to their environment: deposited on a substrate (including the influence of the cluster/support interaction) vs. in solution and including their interaction with (bio-)molecules.

3) High-level ab initio descriptions and experimental assessment. Theoretical descriptions in different confining environments (supported in materials, air, solution, and biologically relevant environments, with and without light) by combining high-level ab initio and embedding approaches will be discussed.

4) Identification of priority areas on which synergistic efforts of the participants to the WG3 of the Action could be concentrated, based especially on the availability of effective techniques for the synthesis, the experimental characterization, and the theoretical modeling of the static and dynamic structure, as well as the opto-electronic and functional (e.g., catalytic) properties of the systems.