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A novel modification for the seedless synthesis of gold nanorods (AuNRs) has been developed. Nanomolar concentrations of 10 kDa poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) can be introduced to a growth solution containing 25, 50, or 100 mM cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) to significantly reduce the dimensions of AuNRs. We found that PVP accelerates the growth rate of AuNRs by more than two times that of nanorods grown in 50 and 100 mM CTAB solutions. Additionally, there is a time-dependent effect of adding PVP to the nanorod growth solution that can be utilized to tune their aspect ratio. Because the concentration of PVP is far below the concentration of HAuCl4 in the reaction mixture, PVP primarily functions not as a reducing agent, but as a capping or templating ligand to stabilize the growing nanorods. Our reproducible protocol enables the synthesis of AuNRs in high yield with tunable sizes: 45 6.7, 28 5.5, and 12 4.5 nm for 100, 50, and 25 mM CTAB, respectively. We estimated the number of PVP chains per nanorod in growth solutions to be around 30, which suggests that the effect on the aspect ratio is caused by a direct interaction between the AuNR surface and the PVP.
author list (cited authors)
Requejo, K. I., Liopo, A. V., Derry, P. J., & Zubarev, E. R.