Permanent excimer superstructures by supramolecular networking of metal quantum clusters

Beatriz Santiago-Gonzalez, Angelo Monguzzi, Jon Mikel Azpiroz, Mirko Prato, Silvia Erratico, Marcello Campione, Roberto Lorenzi, Jacopo Pedrini, Carlo Santambrogio, Yvan Torrente, Filippo De Angelis, Francesco Meinardi, Sergio Brovelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excimers are evanescent quasi-particles that typically form during collisional intermolecular interactions and exist exclusively for their excited-state lifetime. We exploited the distinctive structure of metal quantum clusters to fabricate permanent excimer-like colloidal superstructures made of ground-state noninteracting gold cores, held together by a network of hydrogen bonds between their capping ligands. This previously unknown aggregation state of matter, studied through spectroscopic experiments and ab initio calculations, conveys the photophysics of excimers into stable nanoparticles, which overcome the intrinsic limitation of excimers in single-particle applications - that is, their nearly zero formation probability in ultra-diluted solutions. In vitro experiments demonstrate the suitability of the superstructures as nonresonant intracellular probes and further reveal their ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species, which enhances their potential as anticytotoxic agents for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-575
Number of pages5
Issue number6299
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • General


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