Method for the Generation of Surface-Bound Nanoparticle Density Gradients

Renee V. Goreham, Robert D. Short, Krasimir Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


We report a novel, versatile method for generating number density gradients of individual gold (Au) and silver (Ag) nanoparticles by a two-step method. First, a chemical gradient of amine surface functional groups is deposited by plasma copolymerization. Second, a density gradient of nanoparticles is formed by the immersion of the chemical gradient in solutions of nanoparticles. Chemical characterization by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and morphological analysis by atomic force microscopy shows that nanoparticle density closely follows the change in nitrogen surface concentration across the gradients. We also demonstrate that it is possible to control the slope of the gradients by using nanoparticle solutions of different concentrations. Important for technological and research applications, this method can be used with nanoparticles of various sizes and different materials. In addition, the use of plasma deposition allows such gradients to be generated on any type of substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3429-3433
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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