Bonding in beryllium clusters.
ABSTRACT Beryllium clusters provide an ideal series for exploring the evolution from discrete molecules to the metallic state. The beryllium dimer has a formal bond order of zero, but the molecule is weakly bound. In contrast, bulk-phase beryllium is a hard metal with a high melting point. Theoretical calculations indicate that the bond energies increase dramatically for Be(n) clusters in the range n=2-6. A triplet ground state is found for n=6, indicating an early emergence of metallic properties. There is an extensive body of theoretical work on smaller Be(n) clusters, in part because this light element can be treated using high-level methods. However, the apparent simplicity of beryllium is deceptive, and the calculations have proved to be challenging owing to strong electron correlation and configuration interaction effects. Consequently, these clusters have become benchmark systems for the evaluation of a wide spectrum of quantum chemistry methods.