The properties and performance of a pH-responsive functionalised nanoparticle
We report fluorescence measurements of three quantum dots (QDs) of different sizes functionalised with the same pH responsive naphthalimide dye. QD size strongly influences energy transfer between dye and dot. Using QDs with an emission maximum of 570 nm gives rise to an interesting transfer of energy from dye to dot, while QDs with an emission maximum at 670 nm give unexpected enhancement of the dye emission. Titrations of QDs with the dye provide a means to establish the loading and hence an approximation of the surface dye density, which varies in proportion to QD size. Quenching effects are observed beyond the loading limit, and may indicate non-specific interactions between the excess dye and the nanoparticle. Attachment of the dye to the QD core is achieved by a thiol/disulfide exchange process that has been interrogated with Raman spectroscopy. The stability of these QD–dye conjugates over time and across a physiological pH range has been investigated to provide an assessment of their performance and robustness.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Physical Chemistry of Functionalised Biomedical Nanoparticles