Multifunctional nanocomposites of lanthanide (Eu3+, Tb3+) complexes functionalized magnetic mesoporous silica nanospheres covalently bonded with polymer modified ZnO†
Methacrylic-group-modified ZnO nanoparticles (designated ZnO-MAA) prepared through the sol–gel process are copolymerized with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) to form ZnO-MAA-PHEMA hybrid system. ZnO-MAA-PHEMA unit is functionalized with 3-(triethoxysilyl)-propyl isocyanate (TEPIC) to form ZnO-MAA-PHEMA-Si hybrids, and then is incorporated with oleic acid-modified Fe3O4 nanoparticles by co-condensation of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and ZnO-MAA-PHEMA-Si. Subsequently, ZnO-polymer covalently bonded mesoporous silica nanospheres are assembled using cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) surfactant as template. Furthermore, lanthanide (Eu3+, Tb3+) complexes with nicotinic acid (NTA), isonicotinic acid (INTA) and 2-chloronicotinic (CNTA) are introduced by coordination bonds, resulting in the final multifunctional nanocomposites. The detailed physical characterization of these hybrids is discussed in detail. It reveals that they possess both magnetic and luminescent properties. Especially Eu(ZnO-MMS)(CNTA)3 and Tb(ZnO-MMS)(NTA)3 present high quantum yield values of 32.2% and 68.5%, respectively. The results will lay the foundation for further application in biomedical and biopharmaceutical fields.