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Hydroquinone-Assisted Synthesis of Branched Au–Ag Nanoparticles with Polydopamine Coating as Highly Efficient Photothermal Agents

Li, Jing, Wang, Wenjing, Zhao, Liang, Rong, Li, Lan, Shijie, Sun, Hongchen, Zhang, Hao, Yang, Bai
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.21 pp. 11613-11623
absorption, alloys, ambient temperature, biocompatibility, coatings, dopamine, gold, hydroquinone, in vitro studies, metal ions, nanoparticles, neoplasm cells, neoplasms, polymerization, reducing agents, silver, surface plasmon resonance, therapeutics
Despite the success of galvanic replacement in preparing hollow nanostructures with diversified morphologies via the replacement reaction between sacrificial metal nanoparticles (NPs) seeds and less active metal ions, limited advances are made for producing branched alloy nanostructures. In this paper, we report an extended galvanic replacement for preparing branched Au–Ag NPs with Au-rich core and Ag branches using hydroquinone (HQ) as the reductant. In the presence of HQ, the preformed Ag seeds are replaceable by Au and, in turn, supply the growth of Ag branches. By altering the feed ratio of Ag seeds, HAuCl₄, and HQ, the size and morphology of the NPs are tunable. Accordingly, the surface plasmon resonance absorption is tuned to near-infrared (NIR) region, making the branched NPs as potential materials in photothermal therapy. The branched NPs are further coated with polydopamine (PDA) shell via dopamine polymerization at room temperature. In comparison with bare NPs, PDA-coated branched Au–Ag (Au–Ag@PDA) NPs exhibit improved stability, biocompatibility, and photothermal performance. In vitro experiments indicate that the branched Au–Ag@PDA NPs are competitive agents for photothermal ablation of cancer cells.