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Size-controlled synthesis of monodispersed gold nanoparticles via carbon monoxide gas reduction

Joseph K Young1, Nastassja A Lewinski2, Robert J Langsner2, Laura C Kennedy2, Arthi Satyanarayan3, Vengadesan Nammalvar2, Adam Y Lin2 and Rebekah A Drezek12*

  • * Corresponding author: Rebekah A Drezek

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, MS-366, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005, USA

2 Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, MS-142, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005, USA

3 Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, MS-140, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:428  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-428

Published: 16 June 2011


An in depth analysis of gold nanoparticle (AuNP) synthesis and size tuning, utilizing carbon monoxide (CO) gas as a reducing agent, is presented for the first time. The sizes of the AuNPs are tunable from ~4 to 100 nm by altering the concentration of HAuCl4 and inlet CO gas-injection flow rate. It is also found that speciation of aqueous HAuCl4, prior to reduction, influences the size, morphology, and properties of AuNPs when reduced with CO gas. Ensemble extinction spectra and TEM images provide clear evidence that CO reduction offers a high level of monodispersity with standard deviations as low as 3%. Upon synthesis, no excess reducing agent remains in solution eliminating the need for purification. The time necessary to synthesize AuNPs, using CO, is less than 2 min.