Tunable electrochemistry of gold-silver alloy nanoshells

Lorenzo Russo, Victor Puntes, Arben Merkoçi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2018, Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. The widespread and increasing interest in enhancing biosensing technologies by increasing their sensitivities and lowering their costs has led to the exploration and application of complex nanomaterials as signal transducers and enhancers. In this work, the electrochemical properties of monodispersed AuAg alloy nanoshells (NSs) with finely tunable morphology, composition, and size are studied to assess their potential as electroactive labels. The controlled corrosion of their silver content, caused by the oxidizing character of dissolved oxygen and chlorides of the electrolyte, allows the generation of a reproducible electrochemical signal that is easily measurable through voltammetric techniques. Remarkably, the underpotential deposition of dissolved Ag+ catalyzed on AuAg NS surfaces is observed and its dependence on the nanoparticle morphology, size, and elemental composition is studied, revealing a strong correlation between the relative amounts of the two metals. The highest catalytic activity is found at Au/Ag ratios higher than ≈ 10, showing how the synergy between both metals is necessary to trigger the enhancement of Ag+ reduction. The ability of AuAg NSs to generate an electrocatalytic current without the need for any strong acid makes them an extremely promising material for biosensing applications. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6336-6345
    JournalNano Research
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


    • Au nanoshells
    • nanoparticles
    • surface chemistry
    • underpotential deposition


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