Microsegmented Flow-through Synthesis of Silver Nanoprisms with Exact Tunable Optical Properties

in: Journal of Physical Chemistry C (2012)
Knauer, Andrea; Csáki, Andrea; Möller, Frances; Hühn, Carolin; Fritzsche, Wolfgang; Köhler, J. Michael
In this work, a multistep microcontinuous flow through synthesis procedure for the generation of homogeneous, high-quality silver nanoprisms is presented. The particle synthesis is based on the wet chemical reduction of silver nitrate in the presence of the polyanionic polymer poly- (sodium styrenesulphonate). To obtain a high yield of homogeneous prism-shaped Ag nanoparticles with a triangular base, two main experimental steps are necessary. The first step is the synthesis of seed particles. To match the quality criteria for small, homogeneous seed particles, the synthesis was carried out in a microcontinuous flow-through system. Constant residence times and an effective mixing of the reactants were realized by the application of the microsegmented flow technique. The advantage of good reactant mixing was also adapted in the second experimental step. The growth of silver nanoprisms by reduction of silver nitrate on the noncapped surfaces of the seed particles was again carried out within microfluid segments during a continuous flow-through synthesis. The obtained colloidal solutions of both, Ag seeds and Ag nanoprisms, were analyzed using differential centrifugal sedimentation, UV−vis spectrophotometry, and scanning electron microscopy. The size distributions of the product particles of the individual process steps were extremely narrow. For the Ag seed particles, an average particle diameter of 3.8 nm with a distribution half-width of 2.3 nm was found. The edge length of the Ag nanoprisms could be varied between 35 and 180 nm, while the size distribution remained narrow and the yield of particles of the desired shape high. Because of the strong sensitivity of the optical properties of the nanoprisms from the geometrical aspects, Ag nanoprisms promise a high potential for sensor applications. Constraints on nanoparticles presented by these applications, such as uniformity and narrow size distributions, can be met by microreaction technology. In particular, by applying a microsegmented flow, an improvement of the product quality can be achieved because of the enhanced segment-internal mixing and the suppression of a residence time distribution.

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