Synthesis of gold nanowires with high aspect ratio and morphological purity

Dertli, Elçin
Metal nanoparticles have unique optical, electrical, catalytic and mechanical properties, which lead them to various applications in nanotechnology. In particular, noble metal nanowires are attracting growing attention due to their potential applications such as in opto-electronic devices and transparent conductive contacts (TCCs). There are two general approaches to synthesize nanowires: template-assisted and solution phase methods. However, these synthesis approaches have various disadvantages. For example, removal of the template to ensure the purity of the synthesized nanowires is the major problem. In solution methods like the widely used “seed mediated growth method”, nanowires are synthesized in low yield with the significant amount of by-products and requirement of purification is a major problem for further applications. Among all solution based methods, hydrothermal process is a very promising way of preparing gold (Au) nanowires in high yield and structural purity. In this thesis, hydrothermal process was modified to synthesize high aspect ratio Au nanowires with high morphological purity. Parametric study was performed to examine the effect of surfactant concentration, reaction time and temperature on the quality of products. The optimum conditions were determined for two different surfactant molecules (hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA) and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (Na2-EDTA)). Characterization of the products was done by detailed analysis via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), X-Ray diffraction (XRD) and X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The analyses demonstrated that the Au nanowires synthesized at optimum conditions have high aspect ratio (diameters 50-110 nm range and lengths in micrometer range) and high structural purity.