01-06-2022 | Research paper
Structural evolution and electronic properties of germanium-doped boron clusters and their anions: GeBn0/− (n = 6–20)
Xiaoqin Feng, Daning Shi, Jianming Jia, Changshun Wang
Journal of Nanoparticle Research
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Doping is known as an effective approach to extend the knowledge of structures and properties of clusters. Herein, Ge-doped boron clusters and their anions GeBn0/− with n = 6–20 are systematically investigated by using a spin-polarized density functional theory method to understand their structural evolution and electronic properties. The lowest-energy structures of GeBn and GeBn− clusters are globally searched with genetic algorithm. The doping of a Ge atom has significantly affected the growth behaviors of GeBn0/− clusters, leading to a structural evolution from three-dimensional configuration with a hypercoordinated Ge atom to planar or qusi-planar geometry and finally endohedral cage, in which Ge atom prefers the peripheral site or off-center position. Relative stability analysis identifies that GeB8, GeB10, GeB18, GeB7−, GeB9−, and GeB17− are magic clusters. The magnetic moments of GeBn and GeBn− clusters exhibit an evident odd–even oscillation behavior with cluster size, which is closely related to the interaction between the electronic states of Ge and B atoms. The simulated photoelectron spectra for GeBn− clusters can provide a valuable guidance for further experimental and theoretical research.