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Nanoscale Res Lett. 2011 Feb 14;6(1):143. doi: 10.1186/1556-276X-6-143.

Facile purification of colloidal NIR-responsive gold nanorods using ions assisted self-assembly.

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The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210011, China.


Anisotropic metal nanoparticles have been paid much attention because the broken symmetry of these nanoparticles often leads to novel properties. Anisotropic gold nanoparticles obtained by wet chemical methods inevitably accompany spherical ones due to the intrinsically high symmetry of face-centred cubic metal. Therefore, it is essential for the purification of anisotropic gold nanoparticles. This work presents a facile, low cost while effective solution to the challenging issue of high-purity separation of seed-mediated grown NIR-responsive gold nanorods from co-produced spherical and cubic nanoparticles in solution. The key point of our strategy lies in different shape-dependent solution stability between anisotropic nanoparticles and symmetric ones and selective self-assembly and subsequent precipitation can be induced by introducing ions to the as-made nanorod solution. As a result, gold nanorods of excellent purity (97% in number density) have been obtained within a short time, which has been confirmed by SEM observation and UV-vis-NIR spectroscopy respectively. Based on the experimental facts, a possible shape separation mechanism was also proposed.

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