Plasma-induced non-equilibrium liquid chemistry is used to synthesize gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) without using any reducing or capping agents. The morphology and optical properties of the synthesized AuNPs are characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. Plasma processing parameters affect the particle shape and size and the rate of the AuNP synthesis process. Particles of different shapes (e. g. spherical, triangular, hexagonal, pentagonal, etc) are synthesized in aqueous solutions. In particular, the size of the AuNPs can be tuned from 5 nm to several hundred nanometres by varying the initial gold precursor (HAuCl4) concentration from 2.5 mu M to 1 mM. In order to reveal details of the basic plasma-liquid interactions that lead to AuNP synthesis, we have measured the solution pH, conductivity and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentration of the liquid after plasma processing, and conclude that H2O2 plays the role of the reducing agent which converts Au+3 ions to Au-0 atoms, leading to nucleation growth of the AuNPs.
- SIZE DEPENDENCE
- METAL NANOPARTICLES