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Issue 13, 2020
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Cucurbiturils brighten Au nanoclusters in water

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Abstract

Gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) with well-defined atomically precise structures present promising emissive prospects for excellent biocompatibility and optical properties. However, the relatively low luminescence efficiency in solutions for most AuNCs is still a perplexing issue to be resolved. In this study, a facile supramolecular strategy was developed to rigidify the surface of FGGC-AuNCs by modifying transition rates in excited states via host–guest self-assembly between cucurbiturils (CBs) and FGGC (Phe–Gly–Gly–Cys peptide). In aqueous solutions, CB/FGGC-AuNCs presented an extremely enhanced red phosphorescence emission with a quantum yield (QY) of 51% for CB[7] and 39% for CB[8], while simple FGGC-AuNCs only showed a weak emission with a QY of 7.5%. Furthermore, CB[7]/FGGC-AuNCs showed excellent results in live cell luminescence imaging for A549 cancer cells. Our study demonstrates that host–guest self-assembly assisted by macrocycles is a facile and effective tool to non-covalently modify and adjust optical properties of nanostructures on ultra-small scales.

Graphical abstract: Cucurbiturils brighten Au nanoclusters in water

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
26 Jan 2020
Accepted
06 Mar 2020
First published
06 Mar 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 3531-3537
Article type
Edge Article

Cucurbiturils brighten Au nanoclusters in water

T. Jiang, G. Qu, J. Wang, X. Ma and H. Tian, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 3531
DOI: 10.1039/D0SC00473A

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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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