Structures and relative stability of medium- and large-sized silicon clusters. VI. Fullerene cage motifs for low-lying clusters Si(39), Si(40), Si(50), Si(60), Si(70), and Si(80).

The Journal of chemical physics

PubMedID: 18345897

Yoo S, Shao N, Zeng XC. Structures and relative stability of medium- and large-sized silicon clusters. VI. Fullerene cage motifs for low-lying clusters Si(39), Si(40), Si(50), Si(60), Si(70), and Si(80). J Chem Phys. 2008;128(10):104316.
We performed a constrained search, combined with density-functional theory optimization, of low-energy geometric structures of silicon clusters Si(39), Si(40), Si(50), Si(60), Si(70), and Si(80). We used fullerene cages as structural motifs to construct initial configurations of endohedral fullerene structures. For Si(39), we examined six endohedral fullerene structures using all six homolog C(34) fullerene isomers as cage motifs. We found that the Si(39) constructed based on the C(34)(C(s):2) cage motif results in a new leading candidate for the lowest-energy structure whose energy is appreciably lower than that of the previously reported leading candidate obtained based on unbiased searches (combined with tight-binding optimization). The C(34)(C(s):2) cage motif also leads to a new candidate for the lowest-energy structure of Si(40) whose energy is notably lower than that of the previously reported leading candidate with outer cage homolog to the C(34)(C(1):1). Low-lying structures of larger silicon clusters Si(50) and Si(60) are also obtained on the basis of preconstructed endohedral fullerene structures. For Si(50), Si(60), and Si(80), the obtained low-energy structures are all notably lower in energy than the lowest-energy silicon structures obtained based on an unbiased search with the empirical Stillinger-Weber potential of silicon. Additionally, we found that the binding energy per atom (or cohesive energy) increases typically >10 meV with addition of every ten Si atoms. This result may be used as an empirical criterion (or the minimal requirement) to identify low-lying silicon clusters with size larger than Si(50).