Host-guest chemistry at the surface of gold nanoparticles

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Angel E. Kaifer, Committee Chair


Host-guest chemistry plays an important role in modern supramolecular chemistry. Host-guest interactions have been used to construct novel nanoscale architectures in solution. The rapid advance of nanoparticle chemistry shows its strong potential in nanotechnology, which has been recognized as the technology for the next century. Surface modified nanoparticles have been successfully used in biological detection, catalysis, nanoelectronic and optical devices. The combination of host-guest chemistry with nanoparticle chemistry may lead to novel materials, which may have applications in nanostructures, catalysis, chemical and biochemical sensors.In this dissertation, the author describes recent achievements on gold nanoparticles, derivatized by cyclodextrin (CD) receptors. The first chapter in the dissertation introduces the background and recent achievements in gold colloid chemistry. The second chapter describes the synthesis and characterization of nanoparticle supported rotaxanes, which are based on the host-guest complexation between an alpha-cyclodextrin (alpha-CD) molecule and a ferrocene derivative in aqueous solution. The third chapter contains research on the synthesis of first beta-cyclodextrin (beta-CD) derivatized gold nanoparticles. These receptor modified gold nanoparticles can be assembled in the solution by the host-guest interactions between beta-CDs on the particle surface and ferrocene dimers in the solution. This strategy provides a new route to construct nanoscale architectures in solution. The last chapter in this dissertation describes the investigation on the one-step synthesis of CD receptor modified gold nanoparticles. The size of desired gold nanoparticles can be controlled by adjusting the concentration of receptors in the preparation. Most importantly, the host-guest interactions at the particle/solution interface are successfully demonstrated, for the first time, by electrochemical means, which may provide a new way to prepare novel chemical sensors.


Chemistry, Physical

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