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A Simple Strategy for Prompt Visual Sensing by Gold Nanoparticles: General Applications of Interparticle Hydrogen Bonds


  • We thank Dr. M.-S. Huang and Ms. S.-F. A. Chan at ITRI (Chutong, Hsinchu) for access to the zeta potential analyzer. The authors acknowledge the National Science Council and National Tsing Hua University for financial and research support.


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Local color: Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) bifunctionalized with a crown ether and thioctic acid can be used for the rapid sensing of a target analyte with the naked eye. A color transformation occurs when the interparticle hydrogen bonds of aggregated GNPs are broken forming a dispersion. For example, the detection of PbII takes only 1 s (see picture).