A multi-size study of gold nanoparticle degradation and reformation in ceramic glazes
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Most traditional ceramic glazes employ high amounts of transition metal colorants that are toxic to the environment and can cause health issues in humans through surface leaching. Gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) have been found to be environmentally friendly and non-toxic alternative metal colorant in ceramic glazes. The plasmon band observed with Au-NPs can result in vibrant solutions by manipulating NP size, shape, and concentration; however, the effects of traditional firing in both reductive and oxidative kilns on Au-NPs are poorly understood. Aside from ancient art processes whose mechanisms have not been fully explored, the use of Au-NPs as suspended ceramic glaze colorants remains somewhat unexplored. Au-NPs have been previously reported to diminish in size during sintering and possess significant differences in concentration with respect to reduction and oxidation firing atmospheres. As a means of studying possible degradation/renucleation processes within the glaze during firing, a systematic study introducing different diameter Au-NPs into the glaze materials was conducted with transmission electron microscopy and reflectance spectroscopy used to probe possible mechanisms which showed changes to Au-NP diameter and color intensity, making this work applicable to industry and art current practices.
KeywordsGold nanoparticles Ceramics Glazes Firing Reduction Oxidation Surface plasmon resonance
We would like to acknowledge Jeff Vick at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, the VACR facility, and staff for use of their kilns. We would also like to greatly acknowledge Christie Lacy at the University of Richmond. We would like to thank Dr. Raymond Dominey (University of Richmond) for his insights into this work.
This research was generously supported by funding from Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation - Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award (MCL), the Floyd D. and Elisabeth S. Gottwald Endowed Chair of Chemistry (MCL), and the University of Richmond’s IIS Program (NNLD) and School of Arts and Sciences (LTD).
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