Seedless Synthesis of Single Crystalline Au Nanoparticles with Unusual Shapes and Tunable LSPR in the near-IR

The plasmonic properties of metal nanoparticles have acquired great importance because of their potential applications in very diverse fields. Metal nanoparticles with localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPR) in the near-infrared (NIR, 750–1300 nm) are of particular interest because tissues, blood, and water display low absorption in this spectral range, thus facilitating biomedical applications. Cetyltrimethylammonium chloride (CTAC) was used to induce the seedless formation of highly anisotropic, twisted single crystalline Au nanoparticles in a single step. The LSPR of the obtained particles can be tuned from 600 nm up to 1400 nm by simply changing the reaction temperature or the reagents concentrations. The tunability of the LSPR is closely associated with significant changes in the final particle morphology, which was studied by advanced electron microscopy techniques (3D Tomography and HAADF-STEM). Kinetic experiments were carried out to establish the growth mechanism, suggesting that slow kinetics together with the complexation of the gold salt precursor to CTAC are key factors favoring the formation of these anisotropic particles.