Predictable and repeatable outcome is a major issue in nanoparticle synthesis. Traditionally, a one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) method is relied upon to investigate and optimise synthetic processes; however, this method is inefficient and often misleading. Design of experiments (DoE), in contrast, can provide a greater amount of information in fewer experiments and lends itself to more reproducible results. Nevertheless, DoE techniques are only used by a relatively low number of practitioners in nanoparticle research. Here, we provide a step-by-step tutorial for the synthesis of oleylamine-capped gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Through the use of DoE, we are able to achieve a marked reduction in dispersity and develop a model for detailed control over the mean diameter of the nanoparticle populations. Principles of the case study presented herein are applicable and should serve for facile implementation of DoE to other synthetic routes.
Major restructuring of manuscript, now presenting two case studies for the purpose of DoE demonstration.
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