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 ultravioletâ��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.Â spherical, triangular, hexagonal, pentagonal, etc) are synthesized in aqueous solutions. In particular, the size of the AuNPs can be tuned from 5Â nm to several hundred nanometres by varying the initial gold precursor (HAuCl 4 ) concentration from 2.5Â Î¼M to 1 mM. In order to reveal details of the basic plasmaâ��liquid interactions that lead to AuNP synthesis, we have measured the solution pH, conductivity and hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) concentration of the liquid after plasma processing, and conclude that H 2 O 2 plays the role of the reducing agent which converts Au +3 ions to Au 0 atoms, leading to nucleation growth of the AuNPs.
|Publication status||Published - 2013|