Dissecting Colloidal Stabilization Factors in Crowded Polymer Solutions by Forming Self-Assembled Monolayers on Gold Nanoparticles
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An ideal colloidal system should be highly stable in a diverse range of buffer conditions while still retaining its surface accessibility. We recently reported that dispersing citrate-capped gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in polymers, such as polyethylene glycol (PEG), can achieve such a goal because of contributions from depletion stabilization. Because AuNPs can weakly adsorb PEG to exert steric stabilization and the remaining citrate can impart charge stabilization, the extent of the contribution of depletion stabilization is unclear. In this work, we aim to dissect the contribution of each stabilizing factor. This is achieved by coating AuNPs with a layer of thiolated compound, which inhibits the adsorption of PEG and also allows for the control of surface charge. We found that depletion stabilization alone was insufficient to stabilize AuNPs at room temperature. However, when working together with other stabilization mechanisms, ultrahigh stability can be achieved. The size of both AuNPs and PEG was systematically varied, and the trends were compared to theoretical calculations. Finally, we report the importance of the surface chemistry of commercial AuNPs.
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Nathan J. Lang, Biwu Liu, Xu Zhang, Juewen Liu (2013). Dissecting Colloidal Stabilization Factors in Crowded Polymer Solutions by Forming Self-Assembled Monolayers on Gold Nanoparticles. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11383