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Fractionation and Characterization of High Aspect Ratio Gold Nanorods Using Asymmetric-Flow Field Flow Fractionation and Single Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Materials Measurement Science Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA
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Academic Editor: Ronald Beckett
Chromatography 2015, 2(3), 422-435; https://doi.org/10.3390/chromatography2030422
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 6 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Field-Flow Fractionation)
Gold nanorods (GNRs) are of particular interest for biomedical applications due to their unique size-dependent longitudinal surface plasmon resonance band in the visible to near-infrared. Purified GNRs are essential for the advancement of technologies based on these materials. Used in concert, asymmetric-flow field flow fractionation (A4F) and single particle inductively coupled mass spectrometry (spICP-MS) provide unique advantages for fractionating and analyzing the typically complex mixtures produced by common synthetic procedures. A4F fractions collected at specific elution times were analyzed off-line by spICP-MS. The individual particle masses were obtained by conversion of the ICP-MS pulse intensity for each detected particle event, using a defined calibration procedure. Size distributions were then derived by transforming particle mass to length assuming a fixed diameter. The resulting particle lengths correlated closely with ex situ transmission electron microscopy. In contrast to our previously reported observations on the fractionation of low-aspect ratio (AR) GNRs (AR < 4), under optimal A4F separation conditions the results for high-AR GNRs of fixed diameter (≈20 nm) suggest normal, rather than steric, mode elution (i.e., shorter rods with lower AR generally elute first). The relatively narrow populations in late eluting fractions suggest the method can be used to collect and analyze specific length fractions; it is feasible that A4F could be appropriately modified for industrial scale purification of GNRs. View Full-Text
Keywords: gold nanorod; asymmetric-flow field flow fractionation; single particle ICP-MS; hyphenated techniques; high aspect ratio gold nanorod; asymmetric-flow field flow fractionation; single particle ICP-MS; hyphenated techniques; high aspect ratio
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Nguyen, T.M.; Liu, J.; Hackley, V.A. Fractionation and Characterization of High Aspect Ratio Gold Nanorods Using Asymmetric-Flow Field Flow Fractionation and Single Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Chromatography 2015, 2, 422-435.

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