Correlating Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers for Their Application in Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles
We report the role of self-assembly of polyethylene oxide-polypropylene oxide-polyethylene oxide (PEO-PPO-PEO) block copolymers for the synthesis of gold nanoparticles from hydrogen tetrachloroaureate (III) hydrate (HAuCl4·3H2O) in aqueous solution. The synthesis has been carried out using three different block copolymers P85 [EO26PO39EO26], F88 [EO103PO39EO103] and P105 [EO37PO56EO37], which not only have varying molecular weight but also differ in hydrophobicity to hydrophilicity ratio. The formation of gold nanoparticles is confirmed by the UV-Visible Spectroscopy. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) provides the sizes of the nanoparticles formed in these systems. Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) techniques are used to correlate the self-assembly of block copolymer to their propensity to form gold nanoparticles. The yield is found to be in the order P105 > P85 > F88 and is related to the higher tendency of block copolymer to self-assemble to give greater yield of gold nanoparticles. For all the block copolymers, SANS and DLS results suggests that the yield in the synthesis does not always increases with the salt concentration and is limited due to the fact that most of the block copolymers remain unassociated with the gold nanoparticles. By making use of these unassociated block copolymers, we propose two methods (i) step addition method and (ii) additional reductant method, where the synthesis yield of gold nanoparticles can be enhanced by manifold.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-03-01
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