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Journal of Spectroscopy
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3164247, 8 pages
Research Article

Bromide-Assisted Anisotropic Growth of Gold Nanoparticles as Substrates for Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering

Department of Chemistry, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC 27707, USA

Received 7 August 2016; Accepted 12 October 2016

Academic Editor: Nikša Krstulović

Copyright © 2016 Melissa A. Kerr and Fei Yan. 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.


We report herein a one-step synthesis of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) of various shapes such as triangles, hexagons, and semispheres, using 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) as the reducing agent in the presence of potassium bromide (KBr). Anisotropic Au NPs have received ever-increasing attention in various areas of research due to their unique physical and chemical properties. Numerous synthetic methods involving either top-down or bottom-up approaches have been developed to synthesize Au NPs with deliberately varied shapes, sizes, and configurations; however, the production of templateless, seedless, and surfactant-free singular-shaped anisotropic Au NPs remains a significant challenge. The concentrations of hydrogen tetrachloroaurate (HAuCl4), 5-HIAA, and KBr, as well as the reaction temperature, were found to influence the resulting product morphology. A detailed characterization of the resulting Au NPs was performed using ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Raman spectroscopy. The as-prepared Au NPs exhibited excellent surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) properties, which make them very attractive for the development of SERS-based chemical and biological sensors.