Over the last decades different methods for synthesizing monodispersed and specific types of inorganic metal clusters (CLs) (particle size becomes comparable to the Fermi wavelength of an electron, <2nm) and nanoparticles (NPs) (aggregates of metal atoms where at least one dimension has a size from two to several tens of nanometers) have received everyone ́s attention due to their unique properties: from catalysts and photocatalyts of different degradation or oxidation reactions, water splitting, fluorescence sensing to plasmonic nanoantennas, SERS active plasmonic detection, biomedical applications… Moreover, nowadays the big challenge is to accurately design self-assembled nanomaterials into well-defined superstructures able to show new collective properties that can not be displayed by the isolated entities forming such material. In this context two different research lines will be presented here:
(1) the controlled electrochemical synthesis of different semiconductor copper clusters (CuCLs-Cu(0)) sizes and their potential use as strong catalytic (1), photocatalytic (2) and sensing entities (3).
(2) the synthesis and design of specific arrangements (dimers, trimers, raspberries) of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with accurate control over different parameters together with the guided 3D crystallization by using a bio-recognition model based in the proteine Annexin V (A5) with applications in SERS (4) and in the design of new metamaterials.
In summary, not only the nanomaterial size, composition and shape have strong effects in their properties, but also their conformation in new ordered superstructures, opening indeed a broad range of future applications by combining all of these parameters for the efficient design of new metamaterials with highly tunable properties.