Past, Present, and Future of Gold Nanoparticles

  • Travis Jennings
  • Geoffrey Strouse
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 620)


Colloidal gold nanoparticles have been around for centuries. Historically, the use of gold nanoparticles has been predominantly found in the work of artists and craftsman because of their vivid visible colors. However, through research, the size, shape, surface chemistry, and optical properties of gold nanoparticles are all parameters which are under control and has opened the doors to some very unique and exciting capabilities. The purpose of this chapter is to review some of the important discoveries and give background in regard to gold nanoparticles. First, the most common wet chemical methods toward their synthesis are reviewed, specifically discussing routes toward spherical colloidal synthesis and controllable rod formation. Next, because many applications of gold nanoparticles are a result of their magnificent interactions with light, some of the basic optical-electronic properties and the physics behind them are elucidated. Finally, by taking advantage of the optical-electronic properties, numerous proven applications for gold nanoparticles are discussed, as well as their predicted applications in the future.


Surface Plasmon Resonance Gold Nanoparticles Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Bromide Plasmon Mode Surface Plasmon Resonance Band 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Slot JW, Geuze HJ. A new method of preparing gold probes for multiple-labeling cyto-chemistry. Eur J Cell Biol 1985; 38(1):87–93.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Weare WW et al. Improved synthesis of small (d(CORE) approximate to 1.5 nm) phosphine-stabilized gold nanoparticles. J Am Chem Soc 2000; 122(51):12890–12891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hostetler MJ et al. Alkanethiolate gold cluster molecules with core diameters from 1.5 to 5.2 nm: Core and monolayer properties as a function of core size. Langmuir 1998; 14(1):17–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Whitney TM et al. Fabrication and magnetic-properties of arrays of metallic nanowires. Science 1993; 261(5126):1316–1319.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gole A, Murphy CJ. Seed-mediated synthesis of gold nanorods: Role of the size and nature of the seed. Chem Mater 2004; 16(19):3633–3640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Moskovits M. Surface-enhanced spectroscopy. Reviews of Modern Physics 1985; 57(3):783–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lakowicz JR. Radiative decay engineering 5: Metal-enhanced fluorescence and plasmon emission. Anal Biochem 2005; 337(2):171–194.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Link S, El-Sayed MA. Optical properties and ultrafast dynamics of metallic nanocrystals. Annu Rev Phys Chem 2003; 54:331–366.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Alvarez MM et al. Optical absorption spectra of nanocrystal gold molecules. J Phys Chem B 1997; 101(19):3706–3712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Link S, El-Sayed MA. Spectral properties and relaxation dynamics of surface plasmon electronic oscillations in gold and silver nanodots and nanorods. J Phys Chem B 1999; 103(40):8410–8426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Logunov SL et al. Electron dynamics of passivated gold nanocrystals probed by subpicosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. J Phys Chem B 1997; 101(19):3713–3719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mie G. Beitrage zur optik truber medien, speziell kolloidaler metallosungen. Annalen Der Physik 1908; 25:376–445.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Johnson PB, Christy RW. Optical constants of the noble metals. Phys Rev B 1972; 6(12):4370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kreibig U, Genzel L. Optical-absorption of small metallic particles. Surface Science 1985; 156(Jun):678–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hövel H et al. Width of cluster plasmon resonances: Bulk dielectric functions and chemical interface damping. Phys Rev B 1993; 48(24):18178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Drexhage KH. Analysis of light fields with monomolecular dye layers. J Opt Soc Am 1970; 60(11):1541.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Drexhage KH et al. Beeinflussung der fluoreszenz eines europiumchelates durch einen spiegel. Berichte Der Bunsen-Gesellschaft Fur Physikalische Chemie 1966; 70(9–10):1179.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Drexhage KH, Kuhn H, Schafer FP. Variation of fluorescence decay time of a molecule in front of a mirror. Berichte Der Bunsen-Gesellschaft Fur Physikalische Chemie 1968; 72(2):329.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chance RR, Prock A, Silbey RJ. Molecular fluorescence and energy transfer near interfaces. Advances in Chemical Physics 1978; 37:1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Persson BNJ, Lang ND. Electron-hole-pair quenching of excited-states near a metal. Phys Rev B 1982; 26(10):5409–5415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Jennings TL, Singh MP, Strouse GF. Fluorescent lifetime quenching near d=1.5 nm gold nanoparticles: Probing NSET validity. J Am Chem Soc 2006; 128(16):5462–5467.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yun CS et al. Nanometal surface energy transfer in optical rulers, breaking the FRET barrier. J Am Chem Soc 2005; 127(9):3115–3119.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jennings TL et al. NSET molecular beacon analysis of hammerhead RNA substrate binding and catalysis. Nano Letters 2006; 6(7):1318–1324.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Taton TA, Mirkin CA, Letsinger RL. Scanometric DNA array detection with nanoparticle probes. Science 2000; 289(5485):1757–1760.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cao YWC, Jin RC, Mirkin CA. Nanoparticles with Raman spectroscopic fingerprints for DNA and RNA detection. Science 2002; 297(5586):1536–1540.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Dubertret B, Calame M, Libchaber AJ. Single-mismatch detection using gold-quenched fluorescent oligonucleotides. Nature Biotechnol 2001; 19(4):365–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Chithrani BD, Ghazani AA, Chan WCW. Determining the size and shape dependence of gold nanoparticle uptake into mammalian cells. Nano Letters 2006; 6(4):662–668.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hirsch LR et al. Nahoshell-mediated near-infrared thermal therapy of tumors under magnetic resonance guidance. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2003; 100(23):13549–13554.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Huang XH et al. Cancer cell imaging and photothermal therapy in the near-infrared region by using gold nanorods. J Am Chem Soc 2006; 128(6):2115–2120.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Loo C et al. Immunotargeted nanoshells for integrated cancer imaging and therapy. Nano Letters 2005; 5(4):709–711.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Parak WJ et al. On the development of colloidal nanoparticles towards multifunctional structures and their possible use for biological applications. Small 2005; 1(1):48–63.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Daniel MC, Astruc D. Gold nanoparticles: assembly, supramolecular chemistry quantum-size-related properties, and applications toward biology, catalysis and nanotechnology. Chem Rev 2003; 104(1):293–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ferrari M. Cancer nanotechnology: opportunities and challenges. Nat Rev Cancer 2005; 5(3):161–171.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Travis Jennings
    • 2
  • Geoffrey Strouse
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations