• Vol 10, No 5 (2019)
  • Chemical Engineering

The Role of Laser Irradiance, Pulse Repetition Rate, and Liquid Media in the Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles by the Laser Ablation Method using an Nd:YAG Laser 1064 nm at Low Energy

Ali Khumaeni, Heri Sutanto, Wahyu Setia Budi

Corresponding email: khumaeni@fisika.undip.ac.id


Cite this article as:
Khumaeni, A., Sutanto, H., Budi, W.S., 2019. The Role of Laser Irradiance, Pulse Repetition Rate, and Liquid Media in the Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles by the Laser Ablation Method using an Nd:YAG Laser 1064 nm at Low Energy. International Journal of Technology. Volume 10(5), pp. 961-969
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Ali Khumaeni Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Diponegoro University, Jl Prof. Soedharto, SH., Tembalang, Semarang 50275, Indonesia
Heri Sutanto Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Diponegoro University, Jl Prof. Soedharto, SH., Tembalang, Semarang 50275, Indonesia
Wahyu Setia Budi Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Diponegoro University, Jl Prof. Soedharto, SH., Tembalang, Semarang 50275, Indonesia
Email to Corresponding Author

Abstract
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The synthesis of gold nanoparticles with high-purity and narrow size distribution is necessary for applications in the medical field. However, it is difficult to achieve this using chemical methods. In this study, the pulse laser ablation method using an Nd:YAG laser operated at a low-energy of 30 mJ has been successfully employed to produce gold nanoparticles with the required high purity and narrow size distribution. The role of laser irradiance, laser pulse repetition rate, and liquid media in the characteristics of the nanoparticles produced, such as shape and size distribution, were examined. In the experiment, an Nd:YAG laser beam (1064 nm, 7 ns) with a low energy of 30 mJ was irradiated on a high-purity gold plate (99.95%) immersed in a liquid medium. The results demonstrate that the average particle diameter and size distribution depended on certain parameters of the laser irradiance, the pulse repetition rate and the liquid medium used in the synthesis process. The diameters of the GNPs increased from 6.5 to 12.3 nm when the laser irradiance was increased from 12 to 20 GW/cm2. They also increased from 12.3 to 20.7 nm when the pulse repetition rate was increased from 10 to 15 Hz. In addition, the particle diameters changed in line with different liquid media used; they were much smaller for purified water (diameter of 12.3 nm) compared to ethanol (diameter of 15.0 nm). However, the shape of the GNPs was the same for these parameters; the GNPs produced by the laser ablation method were spherical. By understanding the effects of these parameters on the characteristics of the GNPs produced by the laser ablation method using a low-energy Nd:YAG laser, GNPs with specific characteristics, namely high purity and narrow size distribution, can be synthesized for specific applications in the medical field.

GNPs; Gold nanoparticles; Laser ablation method; Laser irradiance; Low energy Nd:YAG laser; Low energy of laser pulse; Pulse repetition rate

Introduction

Many scientists and researchers are interested in studying and developing nanoparticles (NPs) for various applications due to their specific characteristics (Tran et al., 2013; Khalil et al., 2017). For example, Adiwibowo et al. (2018) have successfully produced stable ZnO nanoparticles for detergent applications. NPs have a minute size, with a diameter of 1 to 100 nm. Recently, gold nanoparticles (GNPs) have been produced for certain applications, such as sensors (Raj et al., 2003), photonic devices (Parker & Townley, 2007), catalysts (Turner et al., 2008), and medical applications (Giljohann et al., 2010). Due to their specific properties, GNPs have been employed as radiosensitizers, contrast agents, and for drug delivery in the medical field (Dreaden et al., 2012; Cole et al., 2015).

Various methods have been developed for the synthesis of GNPs, such as electrochemical deposition, seeded growth, and vapor phase deposition (Rad et al., 2011). However, in chemical methods, additional chemical constituents and stabilizer agents are required during the production process, and therefore the GNPs contain impurities from these. Furthermore, the chemical method produces nanoparticles which have a wide size distribution. Production of high-purity GNPs is necessary for applications in the medical field in order to ensure human health. Therefore, alternative methods for their synthesis are necessary. One such recent method used to produce GNPs is a green process using plants (Aromal et al., 2012).

A physical method based on a pulse laser has also been developed. This technique performs NP synthesis in liquid, producing colloidal NPs (Giorgetti et al., 2012; Semaltios, 2010). The metal NPs produced using this pulse laser ablation (PLA) method have a high purity compared to those produced by conventional methods, such as the chemical method (Al-Azawi & Bidin, 2015). These NPs are very suitable for specific medical applications which require them to be of high purity, such as when used as contrast agents, for drug delivery, and as radiosensitizers in, for example, cancer and tumor therapy. The PLA method has been applied to the synthesis of silver NPs (AgNPs) and GNPs. Many parameters and variables play important roles in the characteristics of the NPs produced using the PLA method (Abbasi & Dorranian, 2015), including laser energy, laser pulse repetition rate, and the liquid medium in which they are produced (Al-Nassar et al., 2015).

In this study, a pulse laser ablation method using an Nd:YAG laser operated at a low-energy of 30 mJ was employed to produce gold nanoparticles in liquid media. The effects of laser pulse repetition rate, laser irradiance, and liquid media in the synthesis of colloidal GNPs using a quiet low-energy Nd:YAG laser were examined to produce nanoparticles with high purity and narrow size distribution. The experimental results show that the gold nanoparticles produced had a much narrower size distribution compared to those produced by the chemical method. Furthermore, the GNPs also had high purity, which is required for applications in the medical field.


Acknowledgement

This study was supported financially by the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Indonesia under the Penelitian Terapan Unggulan Perguruan Tinggi project (Contract No. 344-33/UN7.5.1/PP/2017 and 101-122/UN7.P4.3/PP/2018).

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