# What is the significance of “magic numbers” of atoms in nanoparticles?

In gold nano particles, as the synthesis method improves to form smaller and smaller nanoparticles, they tend to congregate in magic numbers.

I want to know if these magic numbers occur in other metals besides gold, and whether they contribute to stability, reactivity, catalysis, increased surface area, and their lattice structure? In short, what are the main differences between magic and non-magic nanoparticles?

• – Mithoron Mar 8 '16 at 18:38

A very famous non-gold example is buckminsterfullerene ($\ce{C60}$). Multiple groups had seen the signature of 720 Daltons in mass spectra of soot for years before the official discovery. There are other magic numbers for $\ce{C_n}$ clusters.
I'll give a comparison with Hückel's 4n+2 $\pi$ electron rule. We know that benzene is aromatic and has increased stability relative to the 5-membered and 7-membered conjugated hydrocarbon rings. It's less reactive and thus requires specific reaction chemistry.