Gold nanoparticle-enhanced luminescence of silicon quantum dots co-encapsulated in polymer nanoparticles
The preparation of two-component polymer composite nanoparticles encapsulating both Si quantum dots (SiQDs) and Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) by a single step miniemulsion polymerization of divinylbenzene is described. This simple and robust method affords well-defined polymer composite nanoparticles with mean diameters in a range of 100–200 nm and with narrow polydispersity indices as determined by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. The successful encapsulation of AuNPs within poly(divinylbenzene) was confirmed by UV-visible spectroscopy and from TEM images. Plasmon-enhanced fluorescence of the luminescence of the SiQDs by AuNPs encapsulated within the polymer composite nanoparticles was evaluated by confocal microspectroscopy, and luminescence enhancements of up to 15 times were observed. These observations indicate that the luminescence of the SiQDs is enhanced by the proximity of the AuNPs. The polymer composite nanoparticles were successfully ink-jet printed onto a glass substrate, which demonstrates that these composites are processable in printing applications.