Composition of self-assembled ligand layer and morphology of silver nanoparticles affects their colloidal stability. Introducing a non-ionic spacer in the mercaptocarboxylate ligand layer stabilizes silver nanoplates at various pH, allowing them to be effectively used in biochemical applications, such as in carbodiimide coupling protocols.
Colloidal stability of silver nanoparticles is the critical parameter while designing colloidal colorimetric biosensors. Here, we examined colloidal stability of 11-mercaptoundecanoate-capped quasi-spherical silver nanoparticles and silver nanoplates in 0.02 M phosphate buffers with pH 8.0 containing Li+, Na+, K+, or Cs+ cations. While quasi-spherical nanoparticles demonstrate a good colloidal stability in the presence of all studied cations, nanoplates aggregate in the presence of Na-phosphate buffer. The mechanism of aggregation consists in the ion-specific nanoparticle-cation bridging interaction, which is sensitive to the nanoparticle surface curvature. Increased apparent dissociation constant of carboxyl groups on the zero-curvature nanoplates’ surface enhances bridging interactions and makes nanoplates colloidally unstable. Bridging interactions can be eliminated by using mixed bimolecular 11-mercaptoundecanoate-11-mercaptoundecanol surface ligand layer. Silver nanoplates with mixed ligand layer show an enhanced colloidal stability at a standard carbodiimide bioconjugation protocol.Zum Volltext