Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic (RP-HPLC) separation and analysis of polydisperse water-soluble gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) stabilised with N,N′-dimethylformamide (DMF) were investigated. Under optimal elution gradient conditions, the separation of DMF-AuNCs was monitored by absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy. The UV-vis spectral characteristics of the separated DMF-AuNCs have been captured and they do not possess distinct surface plasmon resonance bands, indicating that all DMF-AuNCs are small AuNCs. The photoluminescence emission spectra of the separated DMF-AuNCs are in the blue-light region. Moreover, cationic DMF-AuNCs are for the first time identified by ion chromatography. Our proposed RP-HPLC methodology has been successfully applied to separate AuNCs of various Au atoms as well as DMF-stabilised ligands. Finally, the composition of the separated DMF-AuNCs was confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry and electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry, proving that the as-synthesised DMF-AuNCs product consists of Au10+, Au10, Au11, Au12, Au13, and Au 14 NCs stabilised with various numbers of DMF ligands.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Materials Science(all)