Surface modification of gold nanorods with polymers synthesized by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization

Jay W. Hotchkiss
Andrew B. Lowe
Stephen G. Boyes

Abstract

Herein we describe the surface modification of gold nanorods via the postpolymerization immobilization of polymers prepared by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT). Gold nanorods have been synthesized via a three-step seed-mediated process and then subsequently modified with RAFT-preformed poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate), poly(acrylic acid), and polystyrene homopolymers, with and without the use of reducing agents. Transmission electron microscopy has been used to visually monitor nanorod formations and UV-visible spectroscopy has been used to observe the absorption properties of nanorod formations. Both techniques monitored nanorods with and without surface modifications. This research provides a general and versatile technique for the surface modification of gold nanorods utilizing a wide range of polymers. Polymer modification of nanorods will potentially aid in nanorod self-assembly and ordering processes.