Single step, pH induced gold nanoparticle chain formation in lecithin/water system
Gold nanoparticle (AuNP) chains have been formed by a single step method in a lecithin/water system where lecithin itself plays the role of a reductant and a template for AuNP chain formation. Two preparative strategies were explored: (1) evaporating lecithin solution with aqueous gold chloride (HAuCl4) at different pHs and (2) dispersing lecithin vesicles in aqueous HAuCl4 solutions of various pHs in the range of 2.5-11.3. In method 1, at initial pH 2.5, 20-50nm AuNPs are found attached to lecithin vesicles. When pH is raised to 5.5 there are no vesicles present and 20nm monodisperse particles are found aggregating. Chain formation of fine nanoparticles (3-5nm) is observed from neutral to basic pH, between 6.5-10.3 The chains formed are hundreds of nanometers to micrometer long and are usually 2-3 nanoparticles wide. On further increasing pH to 11.3, particles form disk-like or raft-like structures. When method (ii) was used a little chain formation was observed. Most of the nanoparticles formed were found either sitting together as raft like structures or scattered on lecithin structures.