Nanotech 2010

Fabrication of size-tunable gold nanoparticles using plasmid DNA as a biomolecular reactor

J. Samson, I. Piscopo, A. Yampolsky, P. Nahirney, A. Parpas, A. Toschi, C.M. Drain
Hunter College of CUNY, US

Keywords: nanoparticles, plasmid DNA, reactor, template, biomolecule, size-tunability, narrow dispersity


Plasmid DNA has proven to be a successful template/mold for the formation of metallic nanoparticles because it is readily available, inexpensive, and malleable i.e. it can exist in different topologies. Using different plasmid DNA species as sacrificial molds and employing a photo-oxidative synthetic approach, we have been able to control AuNP size. The employment of UV light as a primary energy source constitutes some limitations due to its flux stability. Here we present a novel synthetic method in which a kinetically based approach, rather than photo-oxidative, was employed for the AuNPs formation. The plasmid DNA utilized acts as a template to initiate and control the formation of AuNPs. This approach provides a facile procedure that uses less energy, time, and fewer chemicals than most previously reported methods. The size of the AuNPs can be kinetically controlled by varying the incubation times. The DNA fragments, formed upon template degradation, act as anti-aggregating agents. This synthetic method ensures high size tunability, which is usually very challenging to obtain when biological macromolecules are employed. Finally, the employment of mild synthetic conditions makes this method environmentally friendly.
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