In comparison to traditional wet-chemistry techniques for nanoparticle preparation, the advantage of the laser ablation method is that the resulting metal suspensions are free from surfactants or any residues of starting materials. Conventional metal colloidal particles have to be treated prior to use in order to remove the protecting shell from the surface.
In the laser ablation process, laser energy is applied to a solid surface in a solvent. The target absorbs the energy from the laser, vaporizes, and subsequently condenses into the solution as nanoparticle metal suspensions. The resulting nanoparticles carry a positive electrical charge on the surface. Therefore, the stability of the colloid is attributed to electrostatic stabilization. In addition, an electrically active surface allows interaction with molecules that bear electron-donating substituents. In‐situ functionalization is also possible with monomers, polymers and biomolecules. Deposition can also be achieved using electrophoresis.
Basic process of pure, physical laser ablation in liquids, demonstrated at a gold foil in an open glass vessel
Strem Chemicals, in collaboration with Particular GmbH, offers surfactant free or citrate-stabilized metal suspensions in water or organic solutions. The size of the particles are <20nm. The following Strem colloids are available:
Ablation generated nanoparticles can be used in biomedical immunoassays, toxicology studies, targeted drug delivery and as heterogeneous catalysts.
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