A Versatile AuNP Synthetic Platform for Decoupled Control of Size and Surface Composition

01 February 2018, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


While a plethora of protocols exist for the synthesis of sub-10 nm gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), the independent control over size and surface composition remains restricted. This poses a particular challenge for systematic studies of AuNP structure-function relationships and optimization of crucial design parameters. To this end, we report on a modular 2-step approach based on the synthesis of AuNPs in oleylamine (OAm) followed by the subsequent functionalization with target thiol ligands. The synthesis of OAm-capped AuNPs enables fine tuning of the core size in the range of 2–7nm by varying the reaction temperature. The subsequent thiol-for-OAm ligand-exchange allows a reliable generation of thiol-capped AuNPs with target surface functionality. The compatibility of this approach with a vast library of thiol ligands provides detailed control of mixed ligand composition and solubility in a wide range of solvents ranging from water to hexane. This decoupled control over the AuNP core and ligand shell provides a powerful toolbox for the methodical screening of optimal design parameters and facile preparation of AuNPs with target properties.


Gold Nanoparticles Functionalized
Gold Nanoparticles
Nanoparticle Synthesis
Nanoparticle Functionalization
Ligand Exchange

Supplementary materials

2 step NP synthesis Yang et al SI


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