Crossover among structural motifs in transition and noble-metal clusters
The energetics of nanoclusters is investigated for five different metals (Ag, Cu, Au, Pd, and Pt) by means of quenched molecular dynamics simulations. Results are obtained for two different semiempirical potentials. Three different structural motifs are considered: icosahedra (Ih), decahedra (Dh), and truncated octahedra (TO). The crossover sizes among structural motifs are directly calculated, considering cluster up to sizes N ≃ 40 000. For all the systems considered, it is found that icosahedra are favored at small sizes, decahedra at intermediate sizes, and truncated octahedra at large sizes. However, the crossover sizes depend strongly on the metal: in Cu, the icosahedral interval is rather large, and it is followed by a very wide decahedral window; on the contrary, in Au, the icosahedral interval is practically absent, and the decahedral window is narrow. The other metals display intermediate behaviors, Ag being close to Cu, and Pd and Pt being close to Au. A simple criterion, which is based on the ratio between the bulk modulus and the cohesive energy per atom, is developed to account for the differences among the metals. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.