Transition metal complex/gold nanoparticle hybrid materials
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are of considerable interest for diverse applications in areas such as medicine, catalysis, and sensing. AuNPs are generally surface-stabilized by organic matrices and coatings, and while the resultant organic compound (OC)/AuNP hybrids have been explored extensively, they are not suitable for certain applications (e.g. those necessitating reversible redox behaviour and/or long excited-state lifetimes), and they often suffer from low photo- and/or thermal stability. Transition metal complex (TMC)/AuNP hybrids have recently come to the fore as they circumvent some of the aforementioned shortcomings with OC/AuNP hybrids. This review summarizes progress thus far in the nascent field of TMC/AuNP hybrids. The structure and composition of extant TMC/AuNP hybrids are briefly reviewed and the range of TMCs employed in the shell of the hybrids are summarized, the one-phase, two-phase, and post-nanoparticle-synthesis synthetic methods to TMC/AuNP hybrids are discussed and contrasted, highlighting the advantages of variants of the last-mentioned procedure, and the utility of the various characterization techniques is discussed, emphasizing the need to employ multiple techniques in concert. Applications of TMC/AuNP hybrids in luminescence, electrochemical, and electro-optical sensing are described and critiqued, and their uses and potential in imaging, photo-dynamic therapy, nonlinear optics, and catalysis are assessed.