American Chemical Society
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Size-Controlled Gold Nanoparticles Synthesized in Solution Plasma

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-12-22, 00:00 authored by Maria Antoaneta Bratescu, Sung-Pyo Cho, Osamu Takai, Nagahiro Saito
Size-controlled gold nanoparticles (NPs) have been synthesized using an electrical discharge in a liquid environment, termed solution plasma processing (SPP). The gold NPs exhibit sizes from 1 to 2 to 10 nm when the solution pH was adjusted in the range from 12 to 3, respectively. The chemical environment surrounding the gold NPs depends on the preparation conditions and determines the electrostatic interaction among the nanoparticles, which alters their final size. Information obtained from XPS analysis, ToF-SIMS mass spectra, and UV–vis absorption spectroscopy were consistent and demonstrate that the gold NPs are partially oxidized on the surface, when synthesized in a pH 12 solution, and remain surrounded by gold chloride compounds when synthesized in a pH 3 solution. Plasma diagnostics shows that a high electron density contributes to generating a larger number of hydrogen radicals, which represent the main component in the reduction process of the gold ion into the neutral form.