Experimental and Theoretical Structural Characterization of Cu-Au Tripods for Photothermal Anticancer Therapy

Sitansu Sekhar Nanda, K. P.S.S. Hembram, Jae Kap Lee, Kwangmeyung Kim, Subramanian Tamil Selvan, Dong Kee Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Anisotropic metal nanostructures (e.g., Au-Ag, Au-Cu) are emerging for biomedical and catalytic applications in recent years. Herein, we report a modified synthesis of Cu-Au tripod nanocrystals through the controlled nucleation and growth process with judicious purification for photothermal based anticancer therapy. The distribution of nanocrystals in tripod was analyzed by STEM-EDX mapping, indicating the formation of Cu-Au alloy nanocrystals. Theoretical calculations showed the possible formation of alloy structures, that is, Cu3Au, Cu-Au, and CuAu3 and confirmed that their stability in the following order: CuAu3 < Cu-Au < Cu3Au. These stable tripods exhibited a well pronounced photothermal effect as demonstrated by experimental and simulation photothermal studies. Cancer cells treated with nanocrystals upon NIR laser exposure showed promising therapeutic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3735-3742
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korean National Research Foundation (NRF-2018R1A2B6007786). The Server Farm Supercomputing Facility at Korea Institute of Science and Technology is also acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Chemical Society.


  • bimetallic nanocrystals
  • cancer cells
  • Cu-Au tripods
  • NIR laser
  • photothermal therapy


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