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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Bao, Ying (Materials scientist)

Second Advisor

Bussell, Mark E.

Third Advisor

Murphy, Amanda R.


Nanomaterials, materials with at least one dimension on the nanoscale have become an area of extreme scientific interest due to their many unique properties with applications in catalysis, optics, and sensing, just to name a few. Metal nanoparticles are particularly interesting because of the interactions between light and surface electrons in the metal’s conduction band, called localized surface plasmons. In anisotropic metal nanoparticles these plasmons are especially exciting due to the highly responsive quality of the plasmonic resonance associated with their varied nano dimensions. Gold nanorods and nano dendrites in particular exhibit electromagnetic effects which are specifically associated to the shape and environment surrounding the tips of the particles. The singular plasmonic properties of these materials were explored for their properties as signal transducers to enhance detection of metal ions and as signal amplifiers to enhance the production of Raman shifted light from small molecules. Specifically, the first of these projects explored the detection of mercury (II) ions using gold nanorods the surface of which have been modified with polyethylene glycol thiol ligands, this resulted in both a moderate enhancement in ion detection along with significant enhancement of nanoparticle stability. In another project gold nano dendrites were grown under varied conditions to examine how the complexity of the particles could be tuned in order to supplement their use in surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy.




Plasmonics, Gold Nanoparticles, Mercury, Molecular Imprinting, Silica Coating, Protein, Raman, Dendrites


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Plasmonics; Nanoparticles; Molecular imprinting; Raman spectroscopy.




masters theses




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