Synthesis, characterisation and functionalisation of luminescent silica nanoparticles

Autores: Labeguerie-Egea, J.|McEvoy, H.M.|McDonagh , C.
Fuente: Journal of nanoparticle research
13(12), 6455-6465

The synthesis of highly monodispersed, homogeneous and stable luminescent silica nanoparticles, synthesized using a process based on the Stober method is reported here. These particles have been functionalised with the ruthenium and europium complexes: bis (2,2—bipyridine)-(5-aminophenanthroline) Ru bis (hexafluorophosphate), abbreviated to (Ru(bpy)(2)(phen-5-NH(2))(PF(6))), and tris (dibenzoylmethane)-mono (5-aminophenanthroline) europium(III), abbreviated to (Eu:TDMAP). Both dyes have a free amino group available, facilitating the covalent conjugation of the dyes inside the silica matrix. Due to the covalent bond between the dyes and the silica, no dye leaching or nanoparticle diameter modification was observed. The generic and versatile nature of the synthesis process was demonstrated via the synthesis of both europium and ruthenium-functionalised nanoparticles. Following this, the main emphasis of the study was the characterisation of the luminescence of the ruthenium-functionalised silica nanoparticles, in particular, as a function of surface carboxyl or amino group functionalisation. It was demonstrated that the luminescence of the ruthenium dye is highly affected by the ionic environment at the surface of the nanoparticle, and that these effects can be counteracted by encapsulating the ruthenium-functionalised nanoparticles in a plain 15 nm silica layer. Moreover, the ruthenium-functionalised silica nanoparticles showed high relative brightness compared to the free dye in solution and efficient functionalisation with amino or carboxyl groups. Due to their ease of fabrication and attractive characteristics, the ruthenium-functionalised silica nanoparticles described here have the potential to be highly desirable fluorescent labels, particularly, for biological applications.

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