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The significance of bromide in the Brust–Schiffrin synthesis of thiol protected gold nanoparticles

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Abstract

The mechanism of the two-phase Brust–Schiffrin synthesis of alkane thiol protected metal nanoparticles is known to be highly sensitive to the precursor species and reactant conditions. In this work X-ray absorption spectroscopy is used in conjunction with liquid/liquid electrochemistry to highlight the significance of Br in the reaction mechanism. The species [AuBr4] is shown to be a preferable precursor in the Brust–Schiffrin method as it is more resistant to the formation of Au(I) thiolate species than [AuCl4]. Previous literature has demonstrated that avoidance of the Au(I) thiolate is critical to achieving a good yield of nanoparticles, as [Au(I)X2] species are more readily reduced by NaBH4. We propose that the observed behavior of [AuBr4] species described herein explains the discrepancies in reported behavior present in the literature to date. This new mechanistic understanding should enable nanoparticle synthesis with a higher yield and reduce particle size polydispersity.

Graphical abstract: The significance of bromide in the Brust–Schiffrin synthesis of thiol protected gold nanoparticles

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Jul 2017, accepted on 26 Sep 2017 and first published on 26 Sep 2017


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC03266H
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2017, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    The significance of bromide in the Brust–Schiffrin synthesis of thiol protected gold nanoparticles

    S. G. Booth, A. Uehara, S.-Y. Chang, C. La Fontaine, T. Fujii, Y. Okamoto, T. Imai, S. L. M. Schroeder and R. A. W. Dryfe, Chem. Sci., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SC03266H

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