Microchimica Acta

, 175:55 | Cite as

Synthesis of multi-branched gold nanoparticles by reduction of tetrachloroauric acid with Tris base, and their application to SERS and cellular imaging

  • Zhihui Luo
  • Tao Fu
  • Kun Chen
  • Heyou HanEmail author
  • Mingqiang ZouEmail author
Original Paper


We show that tris base (TB), a widely used buffer substance, can act as a reducing agent to synthesize multi-branched gold nanoparticles (mb-AuNPs) from tetrachloroauric acid in a one-step process. The method is simple, fast, and inexpensive and produces mb-AuNPs that are virtually monodisperse, have a size of about 90 nm and typically >6 branches. Their UV-vis absorption peaks can be fine-tuned from the visible to the near-infrared (NIR) region by controlling the concentration of TB. The mb-AuNPs represent an efficient substrate for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), with an enhancement factor of 1.2 × 105. They were applied as substrates for SERS-based imaging of kidney cells.


Multi-branched gold nanoparticles were prepared using tris base as a novel reducing agent that works in the absence of seeds and surfactants. The resulting ss-Au NPs are SERS-active and also were applied to cell imaging.


Multi-branched gold nanoparticles Tris base Synthesis Surface-enhanced Raman scattering Cell imaging 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support for this research by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (20975042), the Program for Academic Pacesetter of Wuhan (200851430484), Nature Science Foundation key project from Hubei Province of China (2008CDA080), International Science and Technology cooperation and Exchange Foundation (2008DFA40270), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (2009JC005) and Genetically Modified Major Projects (2009ZX08012-015B).

Supplementary material

604_2011_649_MOESM1_ESM.doc (10.8 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 11043 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of ScienceHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Chinese Academy of Inspection and QuarantineBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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