Films of monolayer protected Au clusters (MPCs) with mixed alkanethiolate and ω-carboxylate alkanethiolate monolayers, linked together in a network polymer by carboxylate-Cu2+-carboxylate bridges, exhibit electronic conductivities (σEL) that vary with both the numbers of methylene segments in the ligands and the bathing medium (N2, liquid or vapor). A chainlength-dependent swelling/contraction of the film's internal structure is shown to account for changes in σEL. The linker chains appear to have sufficient flexibility to collapse and fold with varied degrees of film swelling or dryness. Conductivity is most influenced (exponentially dependent) by the chainlength of the nonlinker (alkanethiolate) ligands, a result consistent with electron tunneling through the alkanethiolate chains and nonbonded contacts between those chains on individual, adjacent MPCs. The σEL results concur with the behavior of UV−vis surface plasmon adsorption bands, which are enhanced for short nonlinker ligands and when the films are dry. The film conductivities respond to exposure to organic vapors, decreasing in electronic conductivity and increasing in mass (quartz crystal microgravimetry, QCM). In the presence of organic vapor, the flexible network of linked nanoparticles allows for a swelling-induced alteration in either length or chemical nature of electron tunneling pathways or both.

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Copyright © 2002 ACS Publications. Article first published online: 29 JUN 2002.

DOI: 10.1021/ja025965s.

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