A Facile pH Controlled Citrate-Based Reduction Method for Gold Nanoparticle Synthesis at Room Temperature

TitleA Facile pH Controlled Citrate-Based Reduction Method for Gold Nanoparticle Synthesis at Room Temperature
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHimanshu Tyagi, Ajay Kushwaha, Anshuman Kumar, Aslam M
JournalNanoscale Research Letters

The synthesis of gold nanoparticles using citrate reduction process has been revisited. A simplified room temperature approach to standard Turkevich synthesis is employed to obtain fairly monodisperse gold nanoparticles. The role of initial pH alongside the concentration ratio of reactants is explored for the size control of Au nanoparticles. The particle size distribution has been investigated using UV-vis spectroscopy and transmission electron microscope (TEM). At optimal pH of 5, gold nanoparticles obtained are highly monodisperse and spherical in shape and have narrower size distribution (sharp surface plasmon at 520 nm). For other pH conditions, particles are non-uniform and polydisperse, showing a red-shift in plasmon peak due to aggregation and large particle size distribution. The room temperature approach results in highly stable ``colloidal'' suspension of gold nanoparticles. The stability test through absorption spectroscopy indicates no sign of aggregation for a month. The rate of reduction of auric ionic species by citrate ions is determined via UV absorbance studies. The size of nanoparticles under various conditions is thus predicted using a theoretical model that incorporates nucleation, growth, and aggregation processes. The faster rate of reduction yields better size distribution for optimized pH and reactant concentrations. The model involves solving population balance equation for continuously evolving particle size distribution by discretization techniques. The particle sizes estimated from the simulations (13 to 25 nm) are close to the experimental ones (10 to 32 nm) and corroborate the similarity of reaction processes at 300 and 373 K (classical Turkevich reaction). Thus, substitution of experimentally measured rate of disappearance of auric ionic species into theoretical model enables us to capture the unusual experimental observations.