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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 348965, 6 pages
Research Article

Facile and One Pot Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles Using Tetraphenylborate and Polyvinylpyrrolidone for Selective Colorimetric Detection of Mercury Ions in Aqueous Medium

Electrodics and Electrocatalysis Division, Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi 630 006, India

Received 3 November 2011; Accepted 24 December 2011

Academic Editor: Peter Stockwell

Copyright © 2012 Sidhureddy Boopathi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this work, we reported for the first time, a facile and one step synthesis of gold nanoparticles from HAuCl4, employing tetraphenylborate as the reducing agent. The synthesis is not only facile but also yields “dumb-bell-shaped”particles. This shape appears to arise from a possible emulsion of the products of oxidation/decomposition of tetraphenylborate by HAuCl4, surrounding the particle. The size and shape of the AuNPs were characterized by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and UV-visible Spectroscopy. Interestingly, the addition of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) during the synthesis was found to enhance the stability of the nanoparticle dispersion. The particles synthesized under these conditions assume “spherical” shape with the appearance of only transverse surface plasmon resonance band. The highlight of the observations is that the gold nanoparticles synthesized using tetraphenylborate as reducing agent and PVP as stabilizer are highly stable in alkaline medium, in contrast to the synthesis wherein borohydride is used as reducing agent. The AuNPs synthesized using tetraphenylborate and PVP show their mercury sensing behavior only in the alkaline medium. The color of the nanoparticle dispersion undergoes distinct color change from pink to blue with the addition of mercury ions. They also show dramatic selectivity to mercury ions in presence of other interfering ions, Pb2+, Zn2+ and Ca2+.