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Michael Johann Kohler, Andrea Knauer; The Electric Soul of Metal Nanoparticles – What Experiments with Microfluidically Prepared Colloids Tell Us; Advanced Nano-Bio-Materials and Devices; 2017:1(1):1-17
Metal nanoparticles are of interest for different biomedical and technical applications, for example by conjugation with DNA, enzymes or other biomolecules, for on-chip-labeling, for SERS-analytics, for heterogeneous catalysis and as antibacterial additives. Non-spherical metal nanoparticles are in the focus of developments due to their size- and shape-dependent optical properties. Recent results on the synthesis and behavior of noble metal nanoparticles are discussed from the point of view of the electric behaviour. The particle growth by a metal-catalyzed reductive metal deposition in liquid phase is regarded as an open-circuit mixed electrode system. Potential formation and the related electric charging of metal nanoparticles lead to self-polarization effects. These effects enforce spontaneous symmetry breaking effects during the formation of metal nanoparticles and explain the growth of non-spherical particles with high aspect ratios.