FORMATION MECHANISMS OF MONOLAYER PROTECTED GOLD NANOPARTICLES:  TOOLS FOR AN ATOM-BY-ATOM DESCRIPTION

 

Denis E. Bergeron

Mentor:  Jeffrey W. Hudgens

Physical and Chemical Properties Division (838)

Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory

Office:  Physics (221), Room B352

Mail Stop 8380

Tel:  (301)975-8768

FAX:  (301)869-4020

denis.bergeron@nist.gov

Not a Sigma Xi member

 

Chemistry

 

Rational synthesis, toxicity, and environmental impact are all topics of extreme importance in nanoscience; they are also all topics of solution phase chemistry.  The tools most commonly associated with nanoscience are surface-based techniques, and so a new approach is necessary for the treatment of solution phase nanoparticles.  Using electrospray ionization to gently deliver ions from solution into a mass spectrometer, we can follow chemical processes involving nanoparticles with atom-by-atom precision.  The formation of diphosphine-protected gold particles is selected as a model system, and the experimentally derived mechanistic details are compared with the results of ab initio molecular dynamics simulations.  In this manner, we identify precursor and bottleneck ions, enabling a discussion of how the reaction conditions can be manipulated to achieve the rational synthesis of tailored particles.