Tuning Optical Properties of Encapsulated Clusters of Gold Nanoparticles through Stimuli-Triggered Controlled Aggregation

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Gold nanoparticles entrapped in the hollow polymer nanocapsules undergo pH-mediated controlled aggregation. Encapsulated clusters of nanoparticles show absorbance at higher wavelengths compared with individual nanoparticles. The size of the aggregates is controlled by the number of nanoparticles entrapped in individual nanocapsules. Such controlled aggregation may permit small biocompatible nanoparticles exhibit desirable properties for biomedical applications that are typically characteristic of large nanoparticles.