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Characterization of Colloidal Platinum Nanoparticles by MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2009, 00:00 by Jason K. Navin, Michael E. Grass, Gabor A. Somorjai, Anderson L. Marsh
In this work, matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) has been utilized to characterize colloidal platinum nanoparticles synthesized in the 1−4 nm size range. The nanoparticles were prepared via a solution-based method in which the size could be controlled by varying reaction conditions, such as the alcohol used as the reductant. Poly(vinylpyrrolidone), or PVP, (MW = 29 000 g/mol) was employed as a capping agent to stabilize the synthesized nanoparticles in solution. A model for determining the size of the metallic nanoparticle core from MALDI-TOF mass spectra has been developed and verified through correlation with particle sizes from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements. In this model it was assumed that 1.85 nm nanoparticles are capped by one PVP chain, which was verified through experiments performed with capped and uncapped nanoparticles. Larger nanoparticles are capped by either two (2.60 and 2.94 nm) or three (3.69 nm) PVP chains. These findings clearly indicate the usefulness of MALDI-TOF MS as a technique for fully characterizing nanoscale materials in order to elucidate structure−property relationships.