Capillary electrophoretic study of thiolated α-cyclodextrin-capped gold nanoparticles with tetraalkylammonium ions

Man Chin Paau, Chung Keung Lo, Xiupei Yang, Martin M F CHOI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) has been employed to characterize nanometer-sized thiolated α-cyclodextrin-capped gold nanoparticles (α-CD-S-AuNPs). The addition of tetrabutylammonium (Bu4N+) ions to the run buffer greatly narrows the migration peak of α-CD-S-AuNP. The optimal run buffer was determined to be 10 mM Bu4N+ in 30 mM phosphate buffer at pH 12 and an applied voltage of 15 kV. The effect of various tetraalkylammonium ions on the peak width and electrophoretic mobility (μe) of α-CD-S-AuNP was studied in detail. Bu4N+ ions assist in inter-linking the α-CD-S-AuNPs and narrowing the migration peak in CZE. This observation can be explained by the fact that each Bu4N+ ion can simultaneously interact with several hydrophobic cavities of the surface-attached α-CDs on AuNPs. The TEM images show that α-CD-S-AuNPs with Bu4N+ are linked together but in the absence of Bu4N+, they are more dispersed. The migration mechanism in CZE is based on the formation of inclusion complexes between Bu4N+ and α-CD-S-AuNPs which induces changes in the charge-to-size ratio of α-CD-S-AuNPs and μe. An inverse linear relationship (r2 > 0.998) exists between the μe and size of α-CD-S-AuNPs in the core range 1.4-4.1 nm. The CZE analyses are rapid with migration time less than 4 min. A few nanoliters of each of the α-CD-S-AuNP samples were injected hydrodynamically at 0.5 psi for 5 s. Our work confirms that CZE is an efficient tool for characterizing the sizes of α-CD-S-AuNPs using Bu4N+ ions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8557-8562
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Inclusion complex
  • Tetrabutylammonium ions
  • Thiolated α-cyclodextrin-capped gold nanoparticles


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