Systematic study on the structures and properties of (Ag2S)n (n = 1–8) clusters

  • Chongfu Song
  • Zhimei TianEmail author
Original Paper


Silver sulfide is a famous semiconductor, which can be used in many areas. Understanding the size evolution of silver sulfide clusters is useful in controlling their size to improve their properties in applications. The structures of (Ag2S)n (n = 1–8) clusters are explored using a combined method of genetic algorithm (GA) and density functional theory (DFT). The TPSSh/def2-tzvp(Ag)/6-311G(d)(S) method has been used to optimize the structures. The re-optimized structures and refined energies are computed at PBE0/Lanl2tz(Ag)/6-311G(d,p)(S) level according to the benchmark calculations. The global minimum (GM) structures, HOMO and LUMO frontier orbitals, density of states, ionization potentials, electron affinity energies, noncovalent interactions, and natural populations of the clusters have been studied. The clusters evolve from open to cage structures when n varies from 1 to 8. A triangular Ag3S3 unit is found to be an important building block, which can construct the global minimum structures of (Ag2S)n (n = 3–8) clusters. When n > 6, quadrangular Ag4S4 rings present in (Ag2S)n clusters. (Ag2S)6 and (Ag2S)8 clusters are in hollow conformation, and both of which have special stability because of their high HOMO-LUMO gaps, high ionization potentials, and Ag⋯Ag attractive interactions in them.

Graphical abstract


(Ag2S)n (n = 1–8) clusters Density functional theory Structures Properties Stability 



The calculations were carried out on the Theoretical and Computational Chemistry LAB, School of Chemistry and Materials Engineering, Fuyang Normal University, China.

Funding information

This work received financial support from the Fuyang Normal University (2017FSKJ01ZD), 2017 Fuyang municipal government-Fuyang Normal University horizontal cooperation project (XDHX201719).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

894_2019_4191_MOESM1_ESM.docx (619 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 619 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Materials EngineeringFuyang Normal UniversityFuyangChina

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