, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 79-85
Date: 01 Mar 2006

Preparation and Optical Characterization of Core–Shell Bimetal Nanoparticles

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Chemical approaches allow for the synthesis of highly defined metal heteronanostructures, such as core–shell nanospheres. Because the material in the metal nanoparticles determines the plasmon resonance-induced absorption band, control of particle composition results in control of the position of the absorption band. Metal deposition on gold or silver nanoparticles yielded core–shell particles with modified optical properties. UV–vis spectroscopy on solution-grown, as well as surface-grown, particles was conducted and provided ensemble measurements in solution. Increasing the layers of a second metal leads to a shift in the absorption band. A shell diameter comparable to the original particle diameter leads to a predominant influence by the shell material. Extent of shell growth could be controlled by reaction time or the concentration of metal salt or reducing agent. Besides optical characterization, the utilization of atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy yielded important information about the ultrastructure of nanoparticle complexes. Surface-grown core–shell particles were superior in terms of achievable shell thickness, because of difficulties encountered with solution-grown particles due to salt-induced aggregation.