Multifunctional hybrid Fe2O3-Au nanoparticles for efficient plasmonic heating

Simona E. Hunyadi Murph, George K. Larsen, Robert J. Lascola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


One of the most widely used methods for manufacturing colloidal gold nanospherical particles involves the reduction of chloroauric acid (HAuCl4) to neutral gold Au(0) by reducing agents, such as sodium citrate or sodium borohydride. The extension of this method to decorate iron oxide or similar nanoparticles with gold nanoparticles to create multifunctional hybrid Fe2O3-Au nanoparticles is straightforward. This approach yields fairly good control over Au nanoparticle dimensions and loading onto Fe2O3. Additionally, the Au metal size, shape, and loading can easily be tuned by changing experimental parameters (e.g., reactant concentrations, reducing agents, surfactants, etc.). An advantage of this procedure is that the reaction can be done in air or water, and, in principle, is amenable to scaling up. The use of such optically tunable Fe2O3-Au nanoparticles for hyperthermia studies is an attractive option as it capitalizes on plasmonic heating of gold nanoparticles tuned to absorb light strongly in the VIS-NIR region. In addition to its plasmonic effects, nanoscale Au provides a unique surface for interesting chemistries and catalysis. The Fe2O3 material provides additional functionality due to its magnetic property. For example, an external magnetic field could be used to collect and recycle the hybrid Fe2O3-Au nanoparticles after a catalytic experiment, or alternatively, the magnetic Fe2O3 can be used for hyperthermia studies through magnetic heat induction. The photothermal experiment described in this report measures bulk temperature change and nanoparticle solution mass loss as functions of time using infrared thermocouples and a balance, respectively. The ease of sample preparation and the use of readily available equipment are distinct advantages of this technique. A caveat is that these photothermal measurements assess the bulk solution temperature and not the surface of the nanoparticle where the heat is transduced and the temperature is likely to be higher.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere53598
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number108
StatePublished - Feb 20 2016


  • Engineering
  • Gold
  • Iron oxide
  • Issue 108
  • Magnetic material
  • Multifunctional
  • Photothermal
  • Plasmonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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