Article

Controlling assembly of mixed thiol monolayers on silver nanoparticles to tune their surface properties.

School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT9 5AG, UK.
ACS Nano (Impact Factor: 12.03). 04/2012; 6(5):3718-26. DOI: 10.1021/nn300629z
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Modifying the surfaces of metal nanoparticles with self-assembled monolayers of functionalized thiols provides a simple and direct method to alter their surface properties. Mixed self-assembled monolayers can extend this approach since, in principle, the surfaces can be tuned by altering the proportion of each modifier that is adsorbed. However, this works best if the composition and microstructure of the monolayers can be controlled. Here, we have modified preprepared silver colloids with binary mixtures of thiols at varying concentrations and modifier ratios. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy was then used to determine the effect of altering these parameters on the composition of the resulting mixed monolayers. The data could be explained using a new model based on a modified competitive Langmuir approach. It was found that the composition of the mixed monolayer only reflected the ratio of modifiers in the feedstock when the total amount of modifier was sufficient for approximately one monolayer coverage. At higher modifier concentrations the thermodynamically favored modifier dominated, but working at near monolayer concentrations allowed the surface composition to be controlled by changing the ratios of modifiers. Finally, a positively charged porphyrin probe molecule was used to investigate the microstructure of the mixed monolayers, i.e., homogeneous versus domains. In this case the modifier domains were found to be <2 nm.

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