K. Lemke, C. Prietzel, J. Koetz
Fluorescent gold clusters synthesized in a poly(ethyleneimine) modified reverse microemulsion
J. Coll. Interf. Sci. 2013, 394, 141
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2012.11.057
This paper is focused on the formation of gold clusters in a tailor-made polyelectrolyte-modified reverse microemulsion using poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI) as a cationic polyelectrolyte. PEI incorporated into a ternary w/o microemulsion consisting of water/heptanol/zwitterionic surfactant 3-(N,N-dimethyl-dodecylammonio)-propanesulfonate (SB) acts as a reducing and stabilizing agent and shows an additional template effect. The nanoparticle synthesis is performed by a simple mixing of two microemulsions, one containing the PEI and the other one containing the gold chloride precursor. UV-vis measurements in the microemulsion show two pronounced absorption maxima, one at 360 nm and the other one at 520 nm, indicating two particle fractions. The absorption maximum at 360 nm in combination to the unique fluorescence properties indicate the formation of gold clusters. After a complete solvent evaporation the redispersed nanoparticles have been characterized by using UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy, in combination to dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition to the gold nanoparticle fraction (>5 nm) the fluorescent gold cluster fraction (<2 nm) can be redispersed without particle aggregation. By means of asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF-FFF) two different cluster fractions with particle diameter (<2 nm) can be identified.
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