International Journal of Applied Biology and Pharmaceutical Technology

Gold Nanoparticles

Colloidal gold nanoparticles have been utilized for centuries by artists due to the vibrant colors produced by their interaction with visible light. More recently, these unique optoelectronic properties have been researched and utilized in high technology applications such as organic photovoltaics, sensory probes, therapeutic agents, drug delivery in biological and medical applications, electronic conductors and catalysis. The optical and electronic properties of gold nanoparticles are tunable by changing the size, shape, surface chemistry, or aggregation state. Gold nanoparticles’ interaction with light is strongly dictated by their environment, size and physical dimensions. Oscillating electric fields of a light ray propagating near a colloidal nanoparticle interact with the free electrons causing a concerted oscillation of electron charge that is in resonance with the frequency of visible light. These resonant oscillations are known as surface plasmons. For small (~30nm) monodisperse gold nanoparticles, the surface plasmon resonance phenomenon causes an absorption of light in the blue-green portion of the spectrum (~450 nm) while red light (~700 nm) is reflected, yielding a rich red color. As particle size increases, the wavelength of surface plasmon resonance related absorption shifts to longer, redder wavelengths. Red light is then absorbed, and blue light is reflected, yielding solutions with a pale blue or purple color

Relevant Topics in General Science