Plasmonic metal nanoparticles : synthesis and applications

  • Christopher Robert Steven

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Plasmonic metal nanoparticles are widely exploited in academia and industry for use in various assay types. In collaboration with an industrial partner, BBI Solutions, the work here details investigations into the production and use of the plasmonic nanoparticles. The work was split into two themes. The first of these was flow chemistry of nanoparticles, covering a microfluidic assay platform and continuous colloid production.In chapter one, a novel microfluidic assay platform was developed which facilitated the transfer of multiple, sequential bench-top procedures into a single device. This allowed the rapid detection of a sugar binding protein to be demonstrated. The microfluidic system included all pre-detection steps involved in employing the specific aggregation of functionalised silver nanoparticles. Straightforward detection of the protein was demonstrated at concentrations lower than those achieved using comparable methods in the literature.In the second chapter, a novel bench-top scale continuous reactor for the production of gold nanoparticles was developed. It was found that the continuous stirred tank reactor was generally unsuitable for this synthesis. A laminar tubular reactor was more successful but fouling of the reactor material was a significant obstacle to production of good quality colloid. In both cases, nanoparticles produced in a batch synthesis were of more consistent quality. This suggested that further work was needed to develop a competitive continuous production method.The second research theme was development of a novel nanoparticle assembly assay, based on DNA assembly. In chapter three it was found that current tools for the understanding of dynamic DNA structure were limited. This led to the first use of an existing coarse grain model to determine thermodynamic properties of DNA assembly. Analysis showed that the results were comparable with the best simulation models shown in the literature, while being generated much more quickly and at less computational expense.
Date of Award1 Apr 2016
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsEPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
SupervisorDuncan Graham (Supervisor) & Karen Faulds (Supervisor)

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