Atomic clusters are aggregates of atoms containing a few to several thousand atoms. Due to the small size of these pieces of matter, the properties of atomic clusters in general are different from those of the corresponding material in the macroscopic bulk phase. This monograph presents the main developments of atomic clusters and the current status of the field. The book treats different types of clusters with very different properties: clusters in which the atoms or molecules are tied by weak van der Waals interactions, metallic clusters, clusters of ionic materials, and network clusters made of typical covalent elements. It includes methods of experimental cluster synthesis as well as the structural, electronic, thermodynamic and magnetic properties of clusters, covering both experiments and the theoretical work that has led to our present understanding of the different properties of clusters. The question of assembling nanoclusters to form solids with new properties is also considered.Having an adequate knowledge of the properties of clusters can be of great help to any scientist working with objects of nanometric size. On the other hand, nanoclusters are themselves potentially important in fields like catalysis and nanomedicine.
Experimental Production of Clusters; Clusters Bound by van der Waals Forces; Electronic and Atomic Shells in Metal Clusters; Electronic and Optical Properties; Melting and Fragmentation; Bimetallic Clusters; Clusters of the Transition Metals; Magnetism; Clusters of Ionic Materials; Carbon Clusters; Assembling of New Materials from Clusters.