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Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Bao, Ying (Materials scientist)

Second Advisor

Montaño, Manuel D.

Third Advisor

Emory, Steven R.


Metallic nanoparticles (mNPs) are commonly employed as sensors and detection tools due to their unique plasmonic properties. Silver NPs exhibit these properties in heightened capacity in comparison to other metals. However, Ag NPs are susceptible to oxidation, degradation over time and are biotoxic. These issues are commonly addressed by creating Ag-alloy NPs or by adding additional layers to Ag NPs. This work improves upon these methods by focusing on the growth of an Au layer onto Ag nanocubes (AgNCs), resulting in a layered Au-Ag NC (Au@AgNC). The resulting morphology of these Au@AgNCs are dependent on the synthetic pathway taken and can be difficult to control. This work focuses on understanding the Au@AgNC synthesis procedure and the reactions that drive the gold layer overgrowth. Primarily the galvanic replacement reactions (GRR) and its manipulation was studied. Reduction potentials and experimental parameters were investigated to better understand their role in the Au@AgNC synthesis. As specific pathways are encouraged or discouraged the resulting morphology can be readily controlled. The use of potassium iodide (KI) was studied as one route to manipulate the GRR dominance and role. This works provides detailed studies in the synthetic control of Au@AgNC morphology providing evidence for many common synthetic parameters used in the literature.




nanocubes, gold, silver, galvanic


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Metal nanoparticles; Plasmonics; Gold; Silver




masters theses




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