Phase Transfer of Citrate Stabilized Gold Nanoparticles Using Nonspecifically Adsorbed Polymers

Student Authors

Aidan C. Caravana: Class of 2014

Kevin T. Lerner: Class of 2017

Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1



Many synthetic approaches for gold nanoparticles rely on an aqueous media, resulting in water-soluble nanoparticles, which limits the ability to incorporate gold nanoparticles into other organic solvents or hydrophobic polymeric composites. Surface functionalization and phase transfer approaches using alkylthiols or alkylamines, which strongly bind the gold surface, are common routes to overcome this limitation, however they are typically challenging methods. In this paper we report an approach to transport citrate capped gold nanoparticles into a variety of solvents, including ones that are hydrophobic and not miscible with water without the need for phase transfer agents. We suspend gold nanoparticles in a water-miscible polar organic solvent that also is a solvent for a hydrophobic polymer. After drying, polymer-stabilized gold nanoparticles were found to be dispersible in various hydrophobic solvents with maintained colloidal stability. This work investigates two hydrophobic polymers, namely (polymethylmethacrylate and polyvinylacetate), which share common chemical motifs but have significantly different physiochemical properties. Interestingly, a significant difference in their ability to stabilize the transferred gold nanoparticles is observed and discussed.


Original version is available from the publisher at: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-colloid-and-interface-science/



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