Argento, G. M. (2022). Exploring Plasmon-Mediated Shape Reconfiguration Pathways of Silver Nanoparticles. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.2.342
The development of highly-controllable, resource-efficient nanocatalysts offers a potential solution to the ever-increasing global chemical energy demand. Plasmon-mediated noble metal nanocatalysts are especially promising as their morphology can be finely-tuned via relatively simple synthetic techniques. Morphology in particular is integral to the overall catalytic abilities of a nanoparticle, as heterogeneous catalysis occurs at the surface of the catalyst. The objective of catalytic optimization has inspired the exploration of plasmon-mediated shape reconfiguration capabilities between different nanoparticle morphologies. However, piecing together the mechanisms that govern plasmon-mediated noble metal nanoparticle growth is a work in progress. Achieving the necessary reduction kinetics for reconfiguration between particles can be challenging due to the restrictions of competing chemical processes at varying reaction conditions. Herein, the plasmon-mediated reconfiguration pathway following the synthesis of thin silver (Ag) nanoprisms to icosahedra, to subsequent Ag nanospheres, and finally back to thin Ag prisms is reported. In Chapter Two, thin Ag prisms are synthesized through the acceleration of the slow reduction of Ag via the photoexcitation of Ag plasmons in the presence of the weak reducing agent, trisodium citrate (citrate). Subsequent and consecutive reconfiguration of these Ag prisms occurs by means of precise reaction kinetics manipulation through varying illumination excitation wavelengths and pH level. The proposed mechanisms of these reconfigurations are also discussed in this chapter. Chapter Three reports the extraneous discoveries made during reconfiguration experimentation, including the Ag etching capabilities of BSPP and the light-driven stabilization of Ag icosahedra. This work provides valuable insight regarding the mechanistic understanding of Ag nanoparticle growth pathways and expands the scope of plasmon-mediated Ag nanoparticle morphology capabilities.