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Pure Appl. Chem., 2009, Vol. 81, No. 4, pp. 635-647

Photochemical routes to silver and gold nanoparticles

Juan C. Scaiano, Paul Billone, Carlos M. Gonzalez, Luca Marett, M. Luisa Marin, Katherine L. McGilvray and Nathan Yuan

Department of Chemistry, University of Ottawa, 10 Marie Curie, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5, Canada

Abstract: The photochemistry of aromatic ketones through the Norrish type I cleavage of benzoins and via photoreduction generates ketyl radicals that readily reduce many metal ions, including silver and gold. Reduction to Au(0) and Ag(0) leads to the spontaneous formation of nanoparticles (NPs) in aqueous or micellar solutions. Careful consideration of kinetic factors to minimize triplet quenching by metal ions can lead to rapid NP generation. These materials are quite stable and have interesting reactivities due to the essentially unprotected characteristics of the surface.