alexa Nucleation and island growth of alkanethiolate ligand domains on gold nanoparticles.
Materials Science

Materials Science

Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology

Author(s): Wang Y, Zeiri O, Neyman A, Stellacci F, Weinstock IA

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Abstract The metal oxide cluster α-AlW(11)O(39)(9-) (1), readily imaged by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), is used as a diagnostic protecting anion to investigate the self-assembly of alkanethiolate monolayers on electrostatically stabilized gold nanoparticles in water. Monolayers of 1 on 13.8 ± 0.9 nm diameter gold nanoparticles are displaced from the gold surface by mercaptoundecacarboxylate, HS(CH(2))(10)CO(2)(-) (11-MU). During this process, no aggregation is observed by UV-vis spectroscopy, and the intermediate ligand-shell organizations of 1 in cryo-TEM images indicate the presence of growing hydrophobic domains, or "islands", of alkanethiolates. UV-vis spectroscopic "titrations", based on changes in the surface plasmon resonance upon exchange of 1 by thiol, reveal that the 330 ± 30 molecules of 1 initially present on each gold nanoparticle are eventually replaced by 2800 ± 30 molecules of 11-MU. UV-vis kinetic data for 11-MU-monolayer formation reveal a slow phase, followed by rapid self-assembly. The Johnson, Mehl, Avrami, and Kolmogorov model gives an Avrami parameter of 2.9, indicating continuous nucleation and two-dimensional island growth. During nucleation, incoming 11-MU ligands irreversibly displace 1 from the Au-NP surface via an associative mechanism, with k(nucleation) = (6.1 ± 0.4) × 10(2) M(-1) s(-1), and 19 ± 8 nuclei, each comprised of ca. 8 alkanethiolates, appear on the gold-nanoparticle surface before rapid growth becomes kinetically dominant. Island growth is also first-order in [11-MU], and its larger rate constant, k(growth), (2.3 ± 0.2) × 10(4) M(-1) s(-1), is consistent with destabilization of molecules of 1 at the boundaries between the hydrophobic (alkanethiolate) and the electrostatically stabilized (inorganic) domains. © 2011 American Chemical Society This article was published in ACS Nano and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology

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