, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 939-946
Date: 13 Sep 2008

Enzyme-induced growth of silver nanoparticles studied on single particle level

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Based on their interesting properties, metal nanoparticles show the potential as an analytical tool in electronic (Burmeister et al. 2004), optical (Yguerabide and Yguerabide 1998), and catalytic applications (Liu 2006). Their characteristics depend on the composition, shape, and size of the single particles. These various properties are utilized in many different approaches such as optics, magnetics (Lang et al. 2007), and laser technology (Csaki et al. 2007). We investigated an alternative method for the synthesis of nanoparticles. In this case, an enzyme, horseradish peroxidase, induces a silver deposition and replaces a metal nanoparticle as the reaction seed. Depending on the reaction time, we could obtain particles in a range of few nanometers up to more than 250 nm. For a better understanding of the enzymatic silver deposition process, the silver particles produced by this process were analyzed by SEM, TEM, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) on a single particle level after different enhancement times. The AFM images were utilized for the characterization of particle height and volume to study the enzyme kinetics, i.e., the particle growth process. Thereby, two different phases are described: a first growth phase probably induced by the enzyme-related growth, and a second, more unspecific growth based on the metal deposition onto the silver deposits. These findings may help to use the enzyme-induced silver deposition in a quantitative manner for bioanalytical applications.