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Several Shapes of Single Crystalline Gold Nanomaterials Prepared in the Surfactant Mixture of CTAB and Pluronics

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journal contribution
posted on 25.01.2021, 20:43 by Soo Ik Park, Hyon-Min Song
Twin structures in gold nanomaterials are destined because they reduce the severe strains in the misfit region of nanostructures. Defect-free single crystalline plasmonic nanomaterials gain interests these days as the integration of plasmonic materials or plasmons into electronic devices and circuits becomes more common. In this study, without subtle experimental adjustments, such as pH or halide additives, several shapes of single crystalline gold nanoparticles (NPs) are prepared in the surfactant mixture of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and Pluronic triblock copolymers. The synthesized NPs are primarily composed of {100} planes with small numbers of particles possessing a [110] zone axis. Pluronic copolymers with low number average molecular weights (Mn), such as L-31 (Mn ≈ 1100) and L-64 (Mn ≈ 2900), prefer anisotropic nanorods with the aspect ratios of 4.3 and 3.0, respectively, while Pluronics with high Mn values, such as F-68 (Mn ≈ 8400) and F-108 (Mn ≈ 14 600), favor more concentric and isotropic cube-like NPs. Extended micelles are believed to form in Pluronics with low Mn values in which hydrophobic cores are merged with the increase of temperature, while the corona regions that are composed of long tails of PEO prevent the merge of hydrophobic cores, and the growth of the micelles is limited in Pluronic copolymers with high Mn values. The catalytic degradation reactions of methyl orange are conducted, and rather than isotropic particles, gold nanorods exhibit better catalytic performances. More hydrophilic environment and the steric alignment of rigid aromatic structures of methyl orange along the nanorods are thought to contribute to the catalytic activities. Overall, highly confined geometries of the appropriately swollen micellar templates of Pluronics and CTAB, which is not so hydrophobic as for the formation of contracted deswollen templates and for the inhibition of the growth of NPs, and which is not so hydrophilic as for the formation of coarse templates and for the formation of isotropic spheres with varying sizes, are believed as the main factor for the formation of single crystalline gold NPs.