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Keywords:

  • density functional calculations;
  • doping;
  • electric beam deflection;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • Zintl anions
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Avoiding negative charge: Combined experimental and theoretical evidence shows that neutral, nine-atom tin-bismuth clusters adopt structures of closely related tin (poly)anions (see figure; Sn gray, Bi blue). These clusters exhibit similar bonding arrangements as known from Zintl ions. Hence, element substitution can be used to eliminate the negative charge without affecting the bonding or structural motif.