A superatom is any cluster of atoms that seem to exhibit some of the properties of elemental atoms.
Sodium atoms, when cooled from vapor, naturally condense into clusters, preferentially containing a magic number of atoms (2, 8, 20, 40, 58, etc.). The first two of these can be recognized as the numbers of electrons needed to fill the first and second shells, respectively. The superatom suggestion is that free electrons in the cluster occupy a new set of orbitals that are defined by the entire group of atoms, i.e. cluster, rather than each individual atom separately (non-spherical or doped clusters show deviations in the number of electrons that form a closed shell as the potential is defined by the shape of the positive nuclei.) Superatoms tend to behave chemically in a way that will allow them to have a closed shell of electrons, in this new counting scheme. Therefore, a superatom with one more electron than a full shell should give up that electron very easily, similar to an alkali metal, and a cluster with one electron short of full shell should have a large electron affinity, such as a halogen.
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