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J Colloid Interface Sci. 1999 Mar 1;211(1):122-129.

Reproducible Preparation of Silver Sols with Small Particle Size Using Borohydride Reduction: For Use as Nuclei for Preparation of Larger Particles.

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Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Egerlandstr. 3, Erlangen, D-91058, Germany


Silver colloids are useful as substrates for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). The results are, however, seldom quantitative as the distribution of particle sizes in silver suspensions can vary from sample to sample and thus the SERS spectra can vary in intensity. Monodisperse silver sols are relatively difficult to prepare compared with gold or latex colloids as the nucleation process is difficult to control. Previous workers have used a system where small particles are formed in one process and grown in a second reaction. In this paper a simple procedure is outlined by which the small, "seed" particles (starter sols) can be prepared; this method is simpler and more reproducible than that used in the past. The process by which the sols can be grown is not discussed in detail here as it is the subject of a forthcoming publication.


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