Confined naked gold nanoparticles in ionic liquid films†
Surface-clean Au nanoparticles (NPs) confined in films of ionic liquids (ILs) can be easily fabricated by sputtering deposition. A silicon wafer coated with films of both hydrophobic (bis((trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl)amide, NTf2−) and hydrophilic (tetrafluoroborate, BF4−) imidazolium-based ILs forms an ‘ionic carpet-like’ structure that can be easily decorated with Au NPs of 5.1 and 6.5 nm mean diameter, respectively. The depth profile distribution of the Au NPs depends on the arrangement of the IL, which is controlled mainly by the anion volume. Higher concentrations of Au NPs are found closer to the IL surface for the system containing a larger anion (NTf2) whereas Au NPs are located deeper in the IL for the system containing a smaller anion (BF4). The Au NPs are well distributed over the IL/Si support and are strictly confined in a single layer of the IL. This method is among the most simple and versatile for the generation of liquid layers containing surface-clean, stable and confined Au NPs.
- This article is part of the themed collection: SBQ-RSC: Celebrating UK-Brazil collaborations