Monolayer-protected clusters (MPCs) and mixed monolayer-protected clusters (MMPCs)2 provide crucial tools for bridging the gap between ‘bottomup’ synthetic methods and ‘top-down’ fabrication. MPCs are core-shell type systems that feature a metallic or semiconductor core functionalized with a self-assembled monolayer (SAM). This monolayer provides two key functions. Firstly preventing core-core contact that would lead to agglomeration and secondly providing a structured environment for the attachment of functional molecular entities, including devices and sensors. MMPCs feature multiple functionality on the shell monolayer, greatly extending the versatility of these core-shell systems.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(01)80083-3