Room temperature seed mediated growth of gold nanoparticles: mechanistic investigations and life cycle assesment
In this study, we report the first room temperature seed-mediated synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in the presence of citrate and a gold salt. In contrast to citrate-reduction in boiling water, these mild reaction conditions provide expanded capacity to probe the mechanism of seed-mediated growth following gold salt addition. Moreover, comparative life cycle assessment indicates significant reductions in the environmental impacts for the room temperature synthesis. For this study, highly uniform gold seeds with Z-average diameter of 17.7 ± 0.8 nm and a polydispersity index of 0.03 ± 0.01 were prepared by a pH controlled protocol. We investigated the AuNP growth mechanism via time resolved UV-vis spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, and transmission electron microscopy. This study indicates that citrate and its oxidation byproduct acetone dicarboxylate serve to bridge and gather Au(III) ions around gold nanoparticle seeds in the initial growth step.