In this work, we report a new and clean electrochemical pathway to prepare enriched gold nanoparticles in aqueous solutions via the aid of chitosan without addition of any other stabilizer and reductant. First, an Au substrate was cycled in a deoxygenated aqueous solution containing 0.1 N NaCl and 1 g/L chitosan from - 0.28 to + 1.22 V vs Ag/AgCl at 500 mV/s with 500 scans. Then the Au working electrode was immediately replaced by a Pt electrode, and a cathodic overpotential of 0.6 V from the open circuit potential (OCP) of ca. 0.84 V vs Ag/AgCl was applied under sonification to synthesize Au nanoparticles. Experimental results indicate the concentration and the particle sizes of prepared Au nanoparticles are ca. 50 ppm and 10 nm in diameter, respectively. No aggregation of Au nanoparticles is observed in an ambient atmosphere for at least 3 months.
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