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April 15th, 2007
The current method for revealing prints involves coating surfaces with a watery suspension of gold nanoparticles and citrate ions. Under acid conditions, the gold particles stick to the positively charged particles in the print. The print is then developed using a solution of silver ions, which leave an outline of silver along the ridges of the print.
However, the gold solution used in this method is unstable and results are difficult to repeat - so Dr Daniel Mandler, Dr Joseph Almog and their team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, have developed a more stable solution be adding hydrocarbon chains to the gold nanoparticles.
They have managed to make the print fluoresce - by suspending the gold particle/hydrocarbon chain complex in petroleum ether - removing the need for an additional developing stage.
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