A simplified synthesis of hollow gold nanoshells 20-50 nm in diameter via the well-established templated galvanic replacement reaction of silver for gold is presented. The surface plasmon resonance absorbance of the nanoshells is tuned using basic colloid chemistry to control the size of the silver templates. The gold nanoshells have an aqueous core and are varied in size and shell thickness depending on the silver/gold reagent ratios. The template replacement chemistry is rapid, highly scalable, uses minimal amounts of toxic reagents, and in many cases is a true one-pot synthesis. The smallest nanoshells (20-nm diameter, 7-nm wall thickness) reach the highest temperature on irradiation with femtosecond light pulses in the near infrared and anneal to form spherical nanoparticles fastest, even though their plasmon resonance does not overlap as well as the larger nanoshells (50-nm diameter, 7-nm wall thickness) with 800-nm wavelength excitation.
- Galvanic replacement reactions