Second harmonic generation response by gold nanoparticles at the polarized water/2-octanone interface: from dispersed to aggregated particles
Gold nanoparticles with a diameter of approximately 20 nm have been observed at the polarized water/2-octanone interface by the nonlinear optical technique of second harmonic generation. Electric field induced adsorption of the gold particles at this liquid/liquid interface is clearly observed and confirms that these are negatively charged. The process is quasi-reversible at high potential sweep rates, but aggregation at the interface is observed at slower sweep rates through the loss of the nonlinear optical signal. The time evolution of the second harmonic signal is also reported during potential step experiments. After a rapid increase due to adsorption, a continuous decrease in the nonlinear optical signal intensity is observed due to aggregation of the particles into large islands at the interface. Diffusion of these large islands at the interface was observed for a longer timescale through large signal fluctuations.