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Structures and Conformations of Alkanedithiols on Gold and Silver Nanoparticles in Water

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journal contribution
posted on 13.08.2015, 00:00 by Manuel Gadogbe, Yadong Zhou, Sandamini H. Alahakoon, Ganganath S. Perera, Shengli Zou, Charles U. Pittman, Dongmao Zhang
Organodithiols with two distal thiols have been used extensively in gold and silver nanoparticle (AuNP and AgNP) applications. However, understanding the structures and conformations of organodithiols on these nanoparticles is challenging. Reported in this work is a combined surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), transmission electron microscope (TEM), inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometry (ICP-MS), and localized surface plasmonic resonance (LSPR) study of alkyldithiol (ADT, (HS-(CH2)n-SH, n = 2, 4, and 6) interactions with AuNPs and AgNPs in water. These complementary techniques revealed a series of new insights that would not be possible using individual methods. A large-fraction of ADTs lies flat on AuNP surfaces. The upright ADTs are dimerized horizontally through disulfide-bond, or remain as monothiolates on the AuNP surfaces. The possibility of a significant amount of vertically disulfide-linked organodithiol on the surface is excluded on the basis of ICP-MS and AuNP LSPR experiments. ADTs induced significant AgNP disintegrations in which ADTs are predominantly in dithiolate forms. This work highlights the extraordinary complexity of organodithiol interactions with plasmonic nanoparticles. The insights provided in this work will be important for enhancing fundamental understanding of the structure and properties of organothiol-functionalized AgNPs and AuNPs.