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Gold nanoparticles are changing our lives

2018-7-17      View:

Due to the inertness of gold, gold is ideal for making watches, rings and coins. From a chemical point of view, gold is actually a rather boring metal, and if you zoom in to the nanometer scale, gold becomes more interesting. Recently, researchers are also experimenting with the use of trace amounts of gold in the technical and medical fields. In the future, you can use gold to purify water, use solar panels containing gold for home heating, or eat gold medicine.See how gold could be used to kill cancer cells, improve the efficiency of solar cells and catalyse chemical reactions.


Nanogold particles are only viral in size, and it is relatively easy to manipulate and utilize the surface properties of gold. For example, a drug molecule can be bound to the surface of a gold nanoparticle with the aid of a sulfur atom, which can form a covalent bond with a sulfur atom. The drug is then delivered to the desired location on the body.


Inert gold is a good delivery vehicle because it does not react with other molecules in the body. Since gold is a metal and contains free electrons, these electrons can resonate at the same frequency if light of a suitable wavelength is used. This special effect is called surface plasmon resonance, which can turn gold nanoparticles into highly accurate tumor killers. After the surface of the nanogold particles is attached to the antibody, they can only bind to the tumor cells. After a large amount of nanoparticles are accumulated in the tumor, the electrons are resonated by infrared light, and the energy from the resonance is diffused into the heat of the surrounding environment. A sudden rise in temperature kills tumor cells.


However, the use of gold nano-ions is not limited to this, and gold nanoparticles with slightly different sizes absorb light of slightly different wavelengths. Therefore, by aggregating nanoparticles of different sizes, one might be able to make a solar cell that can absorb more sunlight. Scientists are experimenting with this approach as a way to increase the efficiency of solar cells, and at a very small scale, gold can even become even more bizarre.


The proportion of surface atoms increases, and their electronic and structural properties change, which makes chemists interested in gold because it now reacts with other substances. In fact, tiny gold particles are excellent catalysts. For example, a gold cluster of about 10 atoms can be used to make carbon monoxide exclusively carbon dioxide, just like platinum or a catalytic converter on a car. Scientists hope that this catalytic property will help them find a more environmentally friendly way to make important chemical products. Such as hydrogen peroxide, or by decomposing organic pollutants to purify water.