A gold nanocup – it sounds like something a posh fairy might drink out of. But actually, metal nanocups are promising particles for sensing and nanoelectronics thanks to their plasmon coupling and light scattering properties. Until now, they have been difficult to make but Jinlong Gong at Tianjin University, China, Zhihong Nie, at the University of Maryland, USA, and colleagues have developed a new easy route suitable for large scale synthesis.
The team used a template-free, liquid-liquid interfacial reaction to build up the gold cups round polymer particles. These so called ‘patchy particles’ are themselves attractive as building blocks for nanostructures due to the directional interactions between the metal patches. Removing the polymers using organic solvent revealed the nanocups with diameters as small as 76 nm. The team demonstrated that the cups can enhance surface enhanced Raman scattering intensity up to the order of 108.
Find out more – download Gong’s ChemComm communication
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