Spectroscopic identification of charge transfer of thiolated molecules on gold nanoparticles via gold nanoclusters

Mohammad Tavakkoli Yaraki, Noelia Soledad Rubio, Anastasiia Tukova, Junxian Liu, Yuantong Gu, Liangzhi Kou*, Yuling Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Investigation of charge transfer needs analytical tools that could reveal this phenomenon, and enables understanding of its effect at the molecular level. Here, we show how the combination of using gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) and different spectroscopic techniques could be employed to investigate the charge transfer of thiolated molecules on gold nanoparticles (AuNP@Mol). It was found that the charge transfer effect in the thiolated molecule could be affected by AuNCs, evidenced by the amplification of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) signal of the molecule and changes in fluorescence lifetime of AuNCs. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations further revealed that AuNCs could amplify the charge transfer process at the molecular level by pumping electrons to the surface of AuNPs. Finite element method (FEM) simulations also showed that the electromagnetic enhancement mechanism along with chemical enhancement determines the SERS improvement in the thiolated molecule. This study provides a mechanistic insight into the investigation of charge transfer at the molecular level between organic and inorganic compounds, which is of great importance in designing new nanocomposite systems. Additionally, this work demonstrates the potential of SERS as a powerful analytical tool that could be used in nanochemistry, material science, energy, and biomedical fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5916-5926
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number9
Early online date21 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2024


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