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Vol. 85, Issue 11, November 2007, pp.1687-1698




Optical Characterization of the Interaction of Mercury with Nanoparticulate Gold Suspended in Solution


1Kevin SCALLAN, 2Donald LUCAS, and 3Catherine KOSHLAND

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley,

2Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,

3School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720

Tel: +1-510-486 4134

E-mail: kscallan@me.berkeley.edu



Received: 27 February 2007   /Accepted: 20 November 2007   /Published: 26 November 2007


Abstract: We have demonstrated that the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) wavelength of gold nanoparticles suspended in solution can be modified by exposure to elemental mercury at sub parts per million (ppm) concentrations in nitrogen. Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) absorption spectroscopy was used to monitor the wavelength and maximum absorbance of the colloidal solution during and after the exposure process. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images revealed modifications to the morphology of the particles (size, shape, and extent of aggregation). The results show that the SPR wavelength is blue-shifted and the absorbance is increased with exposure time. After the exposure, the spectra were observed to relax toward their original position suggesting that the detection medium is regenerative.


Keywords: Mercury, Gold, Nanoparticle, Surface plasmon resonance


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