Highly Fluorescent Silicon Nanocrystals Stabilized in Water Using Quatsomes

Dorothy A. Silbaugh, Lidia Ferrer-Tasies, Jordi Faraudo, Jaume Veciana, Nora Ventosa*, and Brian A. Korgel*. Langmuir, 2017, 33 (50), pp 14366–14377. DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b03539

Fluorescent silicon (Si) nanocrystals (2.8 nm diameter) were incorporated into surfactant assemblies of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and cholesterol, called quatsomes. In water, the quatsome-Si nanocrystal assemblies remain fluorescent and well-dispersed for weeks. In contrast to Si nanocrystals, alkanethiol-capped gold (Au) nanocrystals do not form stable dispersions in water with quatsomes. Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) confirmed that the Si nanocrystal-quatsome structures do not change over the course of several weeks. The long-term stability of the Si nanocrystal-quatsome assemblies, their fluorescence, and biocompatibility makes them attractive candidates for medical applications.

Bioactive materials for therapy and diagnosis

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