Stable and oxidant responsive zwitterionic nanoclusters†
Zwitterions are promising ligands for the fabrication of non-toxic and non-interacting biomaterials. Sulfonamide-based monothiol zwitterionic ligands on gold nanocluster (AuNC) surfaces provide nanomaterials with stable colloidal properties and intense red emission in biological environments. The fluorescence intensity of the nanocluster can be modulated by reactive oxygen species (e.g. ˙OH), allowing for quantitative and selective sensing of antioxidants (e.g. ascorbic acid) in real time.