We report that the aqueous dispersions of negatively charged submicron-sized colloidal Au particles formed non-close-packed colloidal crystals by the addition of a like-charged linear polyelectrolyte, sodium polyacrylate (NaPAA). Au particles often form irregular aggregates in dispersions because of a strong van der Waals force acting between them. To prevent aggregation, we introduced negative electric charges on particle surfaces. By the addition of NaPAA, colloidal crystals were formed on the bottom of a sample cell because of the supply of Au particles by sedimentation and 2D diffusion even under very dilute conditions. Interparticle potential calculations demonstrated that the addition of NaPAA caused depletion attraction between the particles as well as a significant reduction in the interparticle repulsion because of the electrostatic screening effect. However, the electrostatic repulsion was strong enough to prevent the direct contact of particles in the excluded region between Au particles. Large-area crystals could be obtained by tilting the sample cell. By drying the sample, the Au particles came into contact and the non-space-filling crystals changed into closest packed crystals. These closest packed crystals exhibited a significant enhancement of Raman scattering intensity because of high hot-spot density.
Crystallization of charged gold particles mediated by nonadsorbing like-charged polyelectrolyte
Note: This paper is part of the JCP Special Topic on Depletion Forces and Asakura–Oosawa Theory.
Miyu Ioka, Akiko Toyotama, Megumi Yamaguchi, Jun Nozawa, Satoshi Uda, Tohru Okuzono, Masamichi Yoshimura, Junpei Yamanaka; Crystallization of charged gold particles mediated by nonadsorbing like-charged polyelectrolyte. J. Chem. Phys. 21 June 2021; 154 (23): 234901. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0052339
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