Nanoscale Phase Segregation of Mixed Thiolates on Gold Nanoparticles


  • Thanks to Amanda Agrawal, Tracy Okoli, Prof. Brian Huffman, and Dr. Carrie Simpson for providing samples for analysis, Prof. James McBride and Brian Turner for assistance with TEM measurements, Prof. Richard Caprioli for access to instrumentation, and an anonymous reviewer for insightful and helpful comments. Financial support for this work was provided by the Vanderbilt Chemical Biology Interface (CBI) training program (T32 GM065086) and a fellowship of the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to K.M.H., the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers GM076479 to D.E.C. and RC2DA028981 for instrumental support to J.A.M.), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (HDTRA1-09-0013), the Vanderbilt College of Arts and Sciences, the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, and the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education.


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A simple screening method: Phase segregation and domain formation is observed within the protecting monolayer of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) using ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS), a two-dimensional gas-phase separation technique. Experimental data are compared to a theoretical model. Deviations from this model provide evidence for nanophase separation resulting in anisotropic AuNPs.