, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 853-860
Date: 23 Sep 2006

The effect of liquid environment on size and aggregation of gold nanoparticles prepared by pulsed laser ablation

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The effects of liquid environment on nucleation, growth and aggregation of gold nanoparticles were studied. Gold nanoparticles were prepared by pulsed laser ablation in deionised water with various concentrations of ethanol and also in pure ethanol. UV/visible extinction and TEM observations were employed for characterization of optical properties and particle sizes respectively. Preparation in water results in smaller size, shorter wavelength of maximum extinction and stable solution with an average size of 6 nm. Nanoparticles in solution with low concentration ethanol up to 20 vol% are very similar to those prepared in water. In the mixture of deionised water and 40 up to 80 vol% ethanol, wavelength of maximum extinction shows a red shift and mean size of nanoparticles was increased to 8.2 nm. Meanwhile, in this case, nanoparticles cross-linked each other and formed string type structures. In ethanol, TEM experiments show a mean size of 18 nm and strong aggregation of nanoparticles. The data were discussed qualitatively by considering effects of polarity of surrounding molecules on growth mechanism and aggregation. This study provided a technique to control size, cross-linking and aggregation of gold nanoparticles via changing the nature of liquid carrier medium.