Nanoparticle-Imprinted Matrices as Sensing Layers for Size-Selective Recognition of Silver Nanoparticles

Julia Witt, Daniel Mandler, Gunther Wittstock*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study extends the concept of nanoparticle-imprinted matrices (NAIMs) to systems in which template nanoparticles (NPs) are immobilized on a conducting surface and a polymer matrix is built around them before the release of the template NPs. Specifically, citrate-stabilized AuNPs, 40 nm in diameter, were bound to a 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES)-modified indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode at pH 5. Subsequently, a polymer matrix was generated by electropolymerization of a self-inhibiting poly(phenol) (PPh) layer. The template AuNPs were removed either by electro-oxidation of the Au core during linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) in Cl-containing aqueous solution or by chemical oxidation in aqueous KCN solution. After template removal, remaining nanocavities were found to be size-selective in the competitive reuptake of analyte NPs, as demonstrated by the preference for citrate-stabilized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with 20 nm diameter over AuNPs with 50 nm diameter. The remaining nanocavities and their size-recognition ability were examined by scanning electron microscopy and LSV. Complementing studies by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning force microscopy corroborated the template embedding, template release, and analyte NP uptake.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2116-2124
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the German Israeli Foundation under Grant no. 1074-49.10/2009 for D. M. and G.W. J.W. thanks the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg for support within the programme “Focus on Research Oriented Teaching”. The installation of the XPS instrumentation at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg is funded by the State of Lower Saxony and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (INST 184/144-1 FUGG).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • nanoparticles
  • polymers
  • sensors
  • thin films
  • voltammetry


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