About this Research Topic
Atomic clusters are finite aggregates of atoms, varying in the size from a few Angstrom to a few nanometers. Historically, the term ‘cluster’ was used by F.A. Cotton to refer to the compounds having metal-metal bonds. Subsequently, atomic clusters of non-metals were explored from both theoretical as well as experimental means. A typical example is a stable cluster of 60 carbon atoms, which is commonly known as C60 fullerene. In the last few decades, a special class of clusters gained attention, which is referred to as ‘superatoms’. These clusters potentially mimic the behaviour of elemental atoms, making atomic clusters even more worthy of investigations.
The importance of atomic clusters lies in the fact that they possess very unique properties, which are sometimes, quite different than their bulk analogues. For instance, small clusters of Mn are ferromagnetic whereas Mn is antiferromagnetic in its bulk phase. Therefore, the investigation on the atomic clusters has become a rapidly growing field. Several experimental techniques such as laser ablation, mass spectrometry, photoelectron spectroscopy, etc. have been continuously employed to get insights into these atomic clusters. Due to the advent of powerful computers and advancement, in theory, the state-of-the-art computational methods are capable enough to explore their properties in depth. In particular, the research on superatoms has been accelerated due to their increasing applications in a variety of fields. This provides an opportunity to explore new clusters and their potential applications.
We welcome studies on various aspects of atomic clusters by theoretical and/or experimental means. The Topic Editors encourage submissions of Original Research, Review, Mini Review and Perspective articles that address, but are not limited to:
• Structural, electronic, magnetic and optical properties of atomic clusters
• Cluster assembled materials and their applications
• The exploration of new superatoms and their possible applications are especially welcome
• The new experimental techniques or theoretical methods to explore these atomic clusters
• Benchmark studies on atomic clusters are also encouraged
• Theoretical results on atomic clusters in synergy with experiments
• The single-molecule studies can be also considered if found suitable
Keywords: Atomic Clusters, Theory, Superatom
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.