The formation, characterization, and purification of well-defined stoichiometric clusters of metallic nanoparticles, particularly in the form of dimers or trimers, are important and formidable challenges in nanoscience. Here we show that flow cytometry can be used as a high-throughput method to determine the relative distribution of oligomeric clusters of molecularly linked gold nanoparticles in bulk solution at the single-particle level with good statistics. This unique information would be near impossible to obtain using traditional characterization techniques. The flow cytometric approach is utilized to provide fast feedback for the synthesis optimization of the complex reaction between citrate-stabilized gold nanoparticles and bi-functional molecular wires with dithiocarbamate anchoring groups. Finally, we demonstrate that flow cytometry can be used to significantly increase the proportion of AuNP dimers from an oligomer-rich polydisperse sample by size-selective sorting.
- Flow cytometry
- Gold nanoparticle dimers