We describe a novel and simple electrolyte-induced fractionation method to separate a polydisperse water-soluble gold nanocluster (Au NC) product. Different particle sizes of Au NC fractions can be easily centrifuged down as a function of the electrolyte concentration or lipophilicity of the solution. The changes in the absorption characteristic of the Au NC fractions under different electrolyte/ethanol conditions demonstrate the change in particle size distribution of the Au NC. Small gold nano-clusters, Au10, Au 11, Au12, and Au15, were separated from the Au10-Au50 polydisperse Au NC product under various phosphate/ethanol conditions. The core size separation of Au NC was evaluated by their migration trends in capillary zone electrophoresis, UV-visible absorption, and mass spectra. The electrolyte-induced fractionation not only provides a convenient method to separate small Au NC mixture but also assists in the study of the photophysical properties of smaller Au NCs that are present with the larger Au NCs in a polydisperse Au NC product.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Analytical Chemistry