Partnering opportunity

Ligand-free production of gold nanoparticles


A German university has developed a process for the production of ligand-free gold nanoparticles. These gold particles show new physical and chemical properties and allow a quantitative production. The university offers a license agreement to partners from the chemical or pharmaceutical industry.

Partner sought

The university offers access to rights for commercial use as well as the opportunity for further co-development within a license agreement to companies from the pharmaceutical or chemical sector. Possible applications are in the field of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis as well as in biomedical and physical applications (e.g. electroluminescence). A potential partner would have to convert the process from the university laboratory into real production. The university offers support with the implementation.


Nanoparticles of elements can behave quite differently than larger particles of the same element. Gold, which is actually relatively inert, can become very reactive as nanoparticles or at least influence or accelerate reactions. It therefore serves as a catalyst in the chemical industry or as an indication and therapy for cancer. Ligands are normally needed to prevent the individual gold particles from clumping together. If they do, they are no longer nano and therefore unusable. However, ligands normally contain molecules such as ammonium, which interfere with chemical applications or are harmful in medical applications. A German university has now developed a process for the production of ligand-free gold nanoparticles (Au-NP). A laser fragmentation process makes it possible to produce carbon-free gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) smaller than 5nm. For this purpose, gold nanoparticles are removed in a liquid medium. Afterwards the laser fragmentation is repeated in a free jet of liquid and addition of inorganic oxidizing agents, e.g. ozone or hydrogen peroxide. In this way, gold nanoparticles smaller than 5 nm (ø particle size at approx. 2.5 nm) can be produced. In addition to the production of gold clusters, ligand-free gold nanocubes can also be produced using this process. The university offers a license agreement to companies from the chemical or pharmaceutical industry interested in using the process.

Advantages and innovations

The process described here only uses ligands that contain oxygen and hydrogen and either escape into the air as oxygen or disintegrate into water. They therefore no longer have the disturbing properties. Au-NPs with a size of about 3nm show a sudden change in the physical properties and thus also in the chemical properties in comparison to larger particles. Ligand- free gold nanoparticles have recently been at the center of intense research, addressing a diverse market. The present invention gives access to large quantities.

Development stage

Prototype available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patents granted

Register your interest

How it works

  • Tell us about yourself
  • We’ll discuss with you
  • We put the right partners in touch

EEN help you find the right partner, rather than you going it alone.

Our role is to review and collate the most suitable submissions, and then send them to the client who posted the opportunity. We consult with you, and the client, to make the process professional and easy.

These are live opportunities. Your registration of interest on the site is just like a professional approach to a business at a networking event. To stand the best chance of success, make your submission really sing. Sell why the client who posted the opportunity should work with you. Excite them. Ask questions. Try and avoid copy and pasting words from elsewhere.

Once the client has chosen their partner, we'll introduce them over email and keep in touch with both parties to see how it's going. Sometimes things progress quickly. Sometimes because of changing priorities for either party, things progress slowly, but you never know - your next big business break could start right here.

?What value does EEN add?
This is your pitch: remember to include your unique selling points (USP) and why someone would want to do business with you
Tell us why you are a good fit for this opportunity, and why you think you're the right people for this partnership
If there's anything additional, or commercially sensitive you'd like to know about this opportunity, please let us know

When you entered your email address above, we emailed you a code to verify you're human and have access to that account.

?What's this?

What next?

To finish up, we just need some extra details about you and your company