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Keywords:

  • gold;
  • nanoclusters;
  • synthesis;
  • monodisperse;
  • aggregation–dissociation equilibria
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A one-pot two-phase method for the direct synthesis of small Au (Au15 and Au18) nanoclusters (NCs) of high purity is developed. A mild reductant is combined with two equilibria (i.e., equilibrium partition and aggregation–dissociation equilibrium) to provide a constant reaction environment for the formation of monodisperse small Au NCs. The pH sensitivity of the aggregation–dissociation equilibrium is used to tailor the cluster size.