Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.



Committee Chair

Keynton, Robert S.


Gold; Nanoparticles; Nanostructured materials; Nanochemistry


The properties of gold nanoparticles (GNP) holds promising potential for drug delivery, diagnostics, plasmonic photothermal therapy of diseases, electronics, catalysis, and photovoltaics (Liu et al., 2006; Huang et al., 2003; Thompson, 2007; Atwater and Polman, 2010). This field is growing at a fast pace with the demand for GNPs ever increasing with slow progress on development of synthesis techniques. The objective of this study was to develop a new synthesis technique that produces gold/gold sulfide (GGS) nanoparticles with a high yield. This process can control the equilibrium shift of the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of the nanoparticles (Patel, 2012). The goal of this research is to increase the total volume of GGS nanoparticles to be synthesized while keeping their tunability for the SPR absorption peak. This research has demonstrated the ability of cellulose membrane to reduce the need for purification steps, which are associated with traditional synthesis techniques for removing small colloidal gold (< 10 nm). It was found that controlling the surface area to volume ratio (SA/Vol) of the cellulose to GGS solution and temperature of the synthesis process, would provide, greater control over the SPR peak. Using these principles allows for larger volume synthesis to be performed while still retaining the ability to tune the SPR peak. It was also discovered that dialyzing out ions during the synthesis process makes bare GGS nanoparticles more stable over time. The time for the reaction to reach equilibrium was observed and showed an increase in temperature and/or SA/Vol reduces the reaction time. In conclusion, this study demonstrated how increasing the temperature and SA/Vol shifts the SPR peak and reduces the time for the reaction to reach equilibrium.