Interest in the ability to manipulate matter at the molecular level has grown considerably within the past ten years and has been a driving force toward advances in nanoscience. The subject has sparked the curiosity of many scientists because, until recently, scientists could not synthesize and manipulate particles as small as 1 nm. An area within nanoscience we examined specifically involves the synthesis of bimetallic core-shell metal nanoparticles capped by Keggin ions in the form of phosphotungstic acid, or PTA, a polyoxometalate whose chemical formula is H3PW12O40. The focus of our research included synthesizing gold nanoparticles capped by Keggin ions. These ions were then photochemically reduced so that they could then act as a reducing agent in the presence of silver cations for the development of thin shells of silver around the gold core nanoparticles. We modified a literature synthesis and were able to compare our results with published results to gauge how successful we were. To date, our results indicate successful photochemistry of PTA and synthesis of gold nanoparticles. Regarding synthesis of the bimetallic core-shell metal nanoparticles, the data is inconclusive as to how successful we were. Further modification of the experimental design may give more definitive results and the use of other instrumental techniques should confirm the synthesis of the gold nanoparticles and provide insight into the formation of the gold core-silver shell nanoparticles.
Margot Brobst, ’11 Kirkwood, MO
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Craig Teague, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Craig Teague