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Issue 5, 2010
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Characterization of thiolate-protected gold nanoparticles by mass spectrometry

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Abstract

Thiolate-protected gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are a highly versatile nanomaterial, with wide-ranging physical properties dependent upon the protecting thiolate ligands and gold core size. These nanoparticles serve as a scaffold for a diverse and rapidly increasing number of applications, extending from molecular electronics to vaccine development. Key to the development of such applications is the ability to quickly and precisely characterize synthesized AuNPs. While a unique set of challenges have inhibited the potential of mass spectrometry in this area, recent improvements have made mass spectrometry a dominant technique in the characterization of small AuNPs, specifically those with discrete sizes and structures referred to as monolayer-protected gold clusters (MPCs). Additionally, the unique fragmentation data from mass spectrometry enables the characterization of the protecting monolayer on larger AuNPs. The development of mass spectrometry techniques for AuNP characterization has begun to reveal interesting new areas of research. This report is a discussion of the historical challenges in this field, the emerging techniques which aim to meet those challenges, and the future role of mass spectrometry in the growing field of thiolate-protected AuNPs.

Graphical abstract: Characterization of thiolate-protected gold nanoparticles by mass spectrometry

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Oct 2009, accepted on 21 Jan 2010 and first published on 09 Feb 2010


Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/B922291J
Citation: Analyst, 2010,135, 868-874
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    Characterization of thiolate-protected gold nanoparticles by mass spectrometry

    K. M. Harkness, D. E. Cliffel and J. A. McLean, Analyst, 2010, 135, 868
    DOI: 10.1039/B922291J

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