Gold nanoparticles with multiple branches have attracted intensive studies for their application in sensing of low trace molecules. A large number of the merits found on the gold nanoparticles for the above applications are attributed to the strong localized surface plasmon resonance excited by the incident radiation. However, a facile and flexible way of synthesizing the multi-branch gold nanoparticles with tunable localized surface plasmon resonance frequency is still a challenge for the plasmonic research field. Herein, we report an efficient one-pot synthesis of multi-branch gold nanoparticles method that resembles a seed-medicated approach while using no further chemicals except chloroauric acid, ascorbic acid and 4-(2-Hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazinyl]-ethanesulfonic acid. By controlling the amounts of ascorbic acid volumes in the reaction mixture, the morphology and the localized surface plasmon resonance frequency of the synthesized multi-branch gold nanoparticles can be manipulated conveniently. Moreover, using the 4-Mercaptobenzoic acid as the Raman reporter, the multi-branch gold nanoparticles show superior surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy characteristics that can be potentially used in chemical and biological sensing.
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