Citrate-Stabilized Gold Nanorods

Stable aqueous dispersions of citrate-stabilized gold nanorods (cit-GNRs) have been prepared in scalable fashion by surfactant exchange from cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-stabilized GNRs, using polystyrenesulfonate (PSS) as a detergent. The surfactant exchange process was monitored by infrared spectroscopy, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The latter established the quantitative displacement of CTAB (by PSS) and of PSS (by citrate). The Cit-GNRs are indefinitely stable at low ionic strength, and are conducive to further ligand exchange without loss of dispersion stability. The reliability of the surface exchange process supports the systematic analysis of ligand structure on the hydrodynamic size of GNRs, as described in a companion paper.