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Formation of gold nanoparticles in polymeric nanowires by low-temperature thermolysis of gold mesitylene

Erk, Christoph; Yau, Man Yan Eric; Lange, Holger; Thomsen, Christian; Miclea, Paul; Wehrspohn, Ralf B.; Schlecht, Sabine; Steinhart, Martin

The formation of polymer nanowires containing metal nanoparticle chains by low-temperature thermolyses of metal precursors has remained challenging. We report the block copolymer-assisted generation of locally regular chains of quasi-spherical gold nanoparticles with narrow particle diameter distribution by mild thermolysis of the non-polar gold precursor gold mesitylene inside the cylindrical nanopores of self-ordered anodic aluminium oxide (AAO). The block copolymer separates the gold mesitylene as well as the developing gold nanoparticles from the AAO pore walls so that surface nucleation and pinning of gold clusters are prevented. Growing quasi-spherical gold nanoparticles locally deform the polymer chains irreversibly adsorbed on the AAO pore walls, and the polymer chains are pushed into the space between the gold nanoparticles. The gold nanoparticles have, therefore, larger diameters and smaller specific surface than hypothetical pluglike gold entities with the same volume, the formation of which is suppressed.
Published in: Journal of materials chemistry, 10.1039/c1jm14193g, Royal Society of Chemistry
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  • This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.