Topics in Catalysis

, Volume 61, Issue 1–2, pp 49–61 | Cite as

Infrared Spectroscopy of Au(Acetylene)n + Complexes in the Gas Phase

  • Timothy B. Ward
  • Antonio D. Brathwaite
  • Michael A. Duncan
Original Paper


Au(C2H2)n + (n = 1–6) ion–molecule complexes are produced in the gas phase via pulsed laser vaporization in a supersonic expansion of acetylene and argon. Cations are size selected and studied with infrared photodissociation spectroscopy in the C–H stretching region (3000–3500 cm−1). Insight into the structure and bonding of these species is obtained from the number of infrared active bands, their relative intensities and their frequency positions. Density functional theory calculations provide structures for these complexes and predicted spectra are compared to the experiment. The combined data indicate that gold cation has a primary coordination number of two with respect to acetylene binding, and a secondary coordination sphere that is completed with a third ligand. Larger complexes (n = 4–6) are formed by solvation of the Au(C2H2)3 + core ion with acetylene, in a pattern like that seen previously for Cu(C2H2)n + complexes. Small differences in the spectra between corresponding copper and gold cation complexes are explained by theory, but only when relativistic corrections are included for the gold complexes.


Organometallic ions Mass spectrometry Photodissociation Infrared spectroscopy 



We acknowledge generous support for this work from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through grant no. FA9550-15-1-0088. ADB wishes to acknowledge salary support from the National Science Foundation through HBCU-UP Award No. 1505095.

Supplementary material

11244_2017_859_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2749 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy B. Ward
    • 1
  • Antonio D. Brathwaite
    • 2
  • Michael A. Duncan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.College of Science and MathematicsUniversity of the Virgin IslandsSt ThomasUS Virgin Islands

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