This paper reports that the Au nanoparticles could dramatically enhance efficiency of polymer chain reaction (PCR) and shorten reaction time. The excellent energy transfer property of the nanoparticles should be the major factor in improving the PCR efficiency. With the addition of 0.7 nM of 13 nm Au nanoparticles into the PCR reagent, the PCR efficiency was increased. The results demonstrated that Au nanoparticles increase the sensitivity of PCR detection 5–10 fold in a slower PCR system (i.e. conventional PCR) and at least 104 fold in a quicker PCR system (i.e. real-time PCR). This innovation could improve the PCR efficiency using non-expensive polymerases, and general PCR reagent.