Many of you may be wondering, what are those things in my header image? They are very pretty, right?. Well, I am being biased, since I synthesized them.
The image that you see is of two vials containing gold clusters. Yes! There is real gold in them.
On the left vial, there is a mixture of gold-clusters (sizes less than 2 nm in diameter) capped by glutathione ligands in toluene. On the right vial, there is also a mixture of gold-clusters, but instead of being capped by glutathione, the ligands were exchanged with 2-phenylethanethiol. When these gold clusters are illuminated with ultraviolet light, they emit light! As you can see, both vials emit different colors, which is an indication that 1) they may not be the same compound 2) are fluorescent. Of course, to confirm that these two vials contain gold clusters with different capping ligands, further characterizations must be performed. If you have any more questions, ask away and I’ll gladly try to answer in a timely manner.
By the way, below is an image of how the two vials look under regular conditions, without UV illumination.
Have a wonderful day!