We describe a synthesis of nanometer-sized clusters of CdSe using organometallic reagents in inverse micellar solution and chemical modification of the surface of these cluster compounds. In particular we show how the clusters grow in the presence of added reagents and how the surface may be terminated and passivated by the addition of organoselenides. Passivation of the surface allows for the removal of the cluster molecules from the reaction medium and the isolation of organometallic molecules which are zinc blende CdSe clusters terminated by covalently attached organic ligands. Preliminary cluster characterization via resonance Raman, infrared, and NMR spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and size-exclusion chromatography is reported. © 1988, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.