Characterization of Metal Nanoparticle Interactions with Small Molecules

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West, Brandi
metal nanoparticle , electrospray ionization , sol-gel encapsulation , surface treatment , spectroscopy
The interaction between metal nanoparticles and small molecules has been investigated by FTIR and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy. Electrospray deposition into an argon matrix was chosen as the initial method. An electrospray metal source was tested in development stage. Both the formation of a stable corona discharge as well as a stable Taylor cone were successfully completed. Problems arose when the entire system was tested. It was determined that the vacuum was insufficient for the length of the flight path. Focus then shifted to nanoparticles in more conventional environments. Sol-gel encapsulated nanoparticles were generated, in the form of both monoliths as well as thin film coatings on silicon wafers. The gels were exposed to 1atm of carbon monoxide in a gas cell. The method encountered problems due to spectral interference from the matrix. The next attempt consisted of solution stabilized nanoparticles. The solution was exposed to various amounts of both ammonium sulphate and diethylamine. There was again the problem of solvent interference, even when attempting to observe the system using Raman spectroscopy. Finally, surface stabilized nanoparticles were generated, using 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane to adhere the particles to glass slides. While the coating was successfully applied to the glass slides, as confirmed with Raman spectroscopy, it was not possible to get the nanoparticles to adhere. Future outlook for this project is briefly reviewed.
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