Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department


Committee Member

George Chumanov, Committee Chair

Committee Member

R. Kenneth Marcus

Committee Member

Jeffrey N. Anker

Committee Member

Brian N. Dominy


The synthesis of chemically clean silver nanoparticles by hydrogen reduction of silver(I) oxide in water was first reported in our lab by David Evanoff a little over a decade ago, during which these nanoparticles have provided the backbone for research performed in this laboratory. Despite the seemingly relative simplicity of the reaction, much of the intricacies behind it are still being discovered. Presented here we report a proposed mechanism in which the reaction proceeds via a silica catalyzed pathway. In addition, we take advantage of this discovery to greatly increase the concentration of particles obtained as well as generate an ultra-thin silica shell on the surface which provides both a scaffold for functionalization through well-established silane chemistry in addition to imparting excellent stability. These nanoparticles are then incorporated into substrates for various sensing and detection applications. A sensor based on localized surface plasmon resonance sensing is designed that takes advantage of the ability to assemble these nanoparticles into strongly coupled 2D array. These 2D arrays can then also be used as a simple and effective surfaced-enhanced Raman scattering substrate. A chemiresistor is designed that takes advantage of both the ultra-thin silica shell and high concentrations for vapor sensing applications. They are also cast into 2D & 3D polymer matrixes. It is believed that these nanoparticles hold a unique position in their ability to be easily integrated into numerous analytical techniques that can benefit from having highly concentrated silver nanoparticles with an ultra-thin silica shell as well as having a high potential for commercial viability.



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