This report presents evidence that in-situ reduction of metal ions bound to a cross-linked polymer surface does not always result in nanoparticle formation solely at the interface, as is commonly assumed, but also as much as 40 nm deep within the polymer matrix. Tetrachloroaurate ions were bound using a variety of multi-functional amines to cured films of SU-8 -- a cross-linkable epoxide frequently used for micro- and nanofabrication -- and then treated using one of several reducing agents. The resulting gold-nanoparticle decorated films were examined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and by plan-view and cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy. Reduction using sodium borohydride or sodium citrate generates bands of interspersed particles as much as 40 nm deep within the polymer, suggesting both the Au(III) complex and the reducing agent are capable of penetrating the surface and affecting reduction and formation of nanoparticles within the polymer matrix. It is shown that nanoparticle formation can be confined nearer to the polymer interface by using hydroquinone, a sterically bulkier and less flexible reducing agent, or by reacting the surface in aqueous media with high molecular-weight multifunctional amines, that presumably confine Au(III) nearer to the true interface. These finding have important implications for technologies that apply surface bound nanoparticles, including electroless metallization, catalysis, nano-structure synthesis, and surface enhanced spectroscopy.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Clukay, Christopher J., "Gold nanoparticle generation using in situ reduction on a photoresist polymer substrate" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1214.