NSTI Nanotech 2009

Thin Films Containing Metal Nanoparticles: Preparation and Characterization

S.H. Lee, T.R. Lee, A.J. Jacobson
University of Houston, US

Keywords: nanoshells, nanoparticles, layer-by-layer self assembly


Gold shells grown on silica core nanoparticles have received much attention due to their unique and tunable optical properties. To synthesize these composite particles, the surface of the silica particles (~150 nm in diameter) were functionalized with (3-aminopropyl)trimethoxysilane (APTMS) and then seeded with small gold nanoparticles (e.g., 2 nm). The gold-seeded silica particles were coated with a thin layer of gold via solution-phase reduction of a gold salt. The resulting composite particles were ~200 nm in diameter with shells that were ~25 nm thick. The morphologies of the nanoparticles were characterized with SEM and TEM. Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) demonstrated that the outer gold layers are composed of well-crystallized structures. Thin films containing the nanoparticles were developed by dip-coating techniques, using layer-by-layer self assembly. These uniformly dispersed composite nanoparticles were imaged by SEM, and the optical properties were analyzed by UV-vis spectroscopy, which showed strong absorptions ranging from the visible to the near-IR region. X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS) were also obtained to determine the elements present and the oxidation states of these elements.
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