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New technique controls dimensions of gold nanorods while manufacturing on a large scale

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a technique for efficiently producing nanoscale gold rods in large quantities while simultaneously controlling the dimensions of the nanorods and their optical properties. The optical properties of gold nanorods make them desirable for use in biomedical applications ranging from imaging technologies to cancer treatment.

Researchers found they could control the dimensions of the nanorods by varying how quickly they added ascorbic acid.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a technique for efficiently producing nanoscale gold rods in large quantities while simultaneously controlling the dimensions of the nanorods and their optical properties. The optical properties of gold nanorods make them desirable for use in biomedical applications ranging from imaging technologies to cancer treatment.

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"This technique should facilitate the economical manufacture of large volumes of gold nanorods," says Dr. Joseph Tracy, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper on the work. "And that should be good news for both the science community and the biomedical research and development community."

The NC State team started with an existing technique, in which gold nanorods are formed by mixing two chemical solutions together. However, that technique only converts 30 percent of the gold into nanorods -- the rest remains dissolved in solution.

To convert the remaining 70 percent of the gold into nanorods, the researchers added a continuous stream of ascorbic acid (better known as vitamin C) to the solution, while constantly stirring the mixture. The ascorbic acid essentially pulls the gold out of the solution and deposits it on the existing nanorods.

But the researchers also found that the slower they added the ascorbic acid, the stubbier the nanorods became. This is important because the optical properties of gold nanorods depend on their "aspect ratio" -- their relative height and width. For example, long, thin gold nanorods absorb light at wavelengths greater than 800 nanometers (in the near infrared spectrum), while shorter, wider gold nanorods absorb light at wavelengths below 700 nanometers (red or dark red).

"The ability to fine-tune these optical properties will likely be useful for the development of new biomedical applications," Tracy says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Krystian A. Kozek, Klaudia M. Kozek, Wei-Chen Wu, Sumeet R. Mishra, Joseph B. Tracy. Large-Scale Synthesis of Gold Nanorods through Continuous Secondary Growth. Chemistry of Materials, 2013; 131114124405004 DOI: 10.1021/cm402277y

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "New technique controls dimensions of gold nanorods while manufacturing on a large scale." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119101049.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2013, November 19). New technique controls dimensions of gold nanorods while manufacturing on a large scale. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119101049.htm
North Carolina State University. "New technique controls dimensions of gold nanorods while manufacturing on a large scale." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119101049.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

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