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Colloidal stability of zwitterionic polymer-grafted gold nanoparticles in water

, : Colloidal stability of zwitterionic polymer-grafted gold nanoparticles in water. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 434: 188-194

We investigate the colloidal stability of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) coated with zwitterionic sulfobetaine polymers in aqueous solution. Zwitterionic polymers with different molar masses, synthesized by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of N,N'-dimethyl(methacrylamido propyl)ammonium propanesulfonate (SPP) exhibit a well known Upper Critical Solution Temperature (UCST) in water, i.e., phase separate at low temperature. The colloidal stability of gold nanoparticles grafted with PSPP was studied as a function of the temperature. The effects of the molar mass of the grafted polymers, the salt concentration, and the presence of free polymer chains in solution were investigated. UV-vis spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering measurements show that whatever the molar mass of the grafted polymer, the nanoparticles never aggregate at low temperature in pure water. However, a reversible thermal-driven aggregation process of the gold nanoparticles is observed in presence of free polymer chains in solution and explained by a depletion process.


PMID: 25203910

DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2014.07.048

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