Gold nanoparticles formed on membranes directly by ultraviolet light irradiation (L-12655)


Researchers from the University of Alberta and the National Research Council have created a method to synthesize gold (Au) nanoparticles (NP) directly on membranes, such as carbon thin films, silicon nitride or glass slides, among others. The membranes are immersed in an Au3+ solution before removing and quickly drying in an ambient or compressed air at room temperature. The subsequent membranes are then irradiated with ultraviolet (UV) light for about 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, to further stabilize the nanoparticles, the AU NPs are annealed at a low temperature. Characterization in an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), demonstrates solid Au NPs with sizes ranging from 3 nm to 12 nm.

Technology transfer

This technology is available for licensing, or for further development through a collaborative research agreement with NRC. The business opportunity may be referred to by its NRC ID: 12655.

Market applications

This method for the production of Au NPs on membranes is targeted to a niche, growing market consisting of NP-covered transmission electron microscopy (TEM) grids (carbon films, silicon nitride membrane or any film for electron microscopy imaging). These NPs can also act as markers in various TEM experiments or techniques, such as tomography, EM resolution checking, or used as a reference for diffraction calibration.


  • Simple and inexpensive method to manufacture Au NPs.
  • Less time-consuming than other such processes.
  • Produces uniform and evenly-distributed Au NPs throughout the membrane.
  • Applicable to other metals, such as silver.
  • Label-free (non-intrusive) fabrication method.
  • Removes the need for a stabilizer or capping agent.


  • NRC file 12655: Patent pending.


To inquire about this technology, please contact:
Jose Raez, Client Relationship Leader
Telephone: 780-641-1623

Due to the patent-pending status of this innovation, a non-disclosure agreement will be required for further discussions.

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