Influence of Bound versus Non-Bound Stabilizing Molecules on the Thermal Stability of Gold Nanoparticles

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2017, 121 (25), pp. 13944 - 13951
Issue Date:
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© 2017 American Chemical Society. Knowledge concerning the sintering behavior of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) allows for improved nanomaterials for applications such as printed electronics, catalysis and sensing. In this study, we examined the ability of a range of compounds to stabilize AuNPs against thermal sintering and compared compounds with and without functional groups that anchor the molecules to the nanoparticle surface. Thermal stability was characterized in terms of the temperature of the sintering event (TSE) as well as thermogravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopy. We show that anchored stabilizing compounds with high thermal stability are effective at preventing the sintering of AuNPs until the decomposition of the compound. A TSE of 390 °C was achieved using 1-pyrenebutanethiol as stabilizer. Of the unanchored stabilizers, which were combined with butanethiol-capped AuNPs, two were found to be particularly effective: oleylamine (TSE ≈ 300 °C) and a perylenedicarboximide derivative (TSE ≈ 540 °C), the latter conferring an unprecedented level of thermal stability on ligand-stabilized AuNPs. When selecting stabilizers without anchoring groups, our results demonstrate the importance of choosing those that have an affinity with the capping ligands on the AuNPs to ensure a uniform mixture of AuNPs and stabilizer within a film.
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