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Surface-Enhanced Vibrational Spectroscopy of Adsorbates on Microemulsion Synthesized Gold Nanoparticles

Volume 65, Number 7 (July 2011) Page 741-745


Very small (<10 nm) monodisperse gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) coated with a monolayer of decanethiol were prepared and their surface-enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA) spectra were measured in the transmission mode. The AuNPs were prepared by the borohydride reduction of HAuCl4 inside reverse micelles that were made by adding water to a hexane solution of sodium bis(2-ethylhexyl)sulfosuccinate (AOT). The gold nanoparticles were then stabilized by the addition of decanethiol. Subsequent addition of p-nitrothiophenol both facilitated the removal of excess AOT and showed that the gold surface was completely covered by the decanethiol. SEIRA spectra of decanethiol on gold particles prepared in AOT microemulsions were about twelve times more intense than corresponding layers on gold produced by electroless deposition and gave a significantly less noisy spectrum compared to the corresponding surface-enhanced Raman spectrum. The surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectra of the same samples showed that the most intense spectrum was obtained from gold nanoparticles with a mean diameter of 2.5 nm. This result is in contrast to previous statements that SERS spectra could only be obtained from particles larger than 10 nm.

Index Headings: Surface-enhanced infrared absorption; SEIRA; Surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy; SERS; Reverse micelles; Microemulsion.