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Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Mar 1;42(5):1552-7.

Effect of encapsulating agents on dispersion status and photochemical reactivity of C60 in the aqueous phase.

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School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 200 Bobby Dodd Way, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0373, USA.


This study demonstrates that the degree of C60 clustering in the aqueous phase is strongly dependent on the type and concentration of encapsulating agents, such as surfactant, polymer, and natural organic matter that interact with C60. The degree of C60 clustering was quantitatively analyzed using ultraviolet-visible spectral characteristics. The dispersion status played a critical role in determining the photochemical reactivity of C60, in particular, its ability to mediate energy transfer and to produce singlet oxygen in the presence of oxygen. Consistent with findings in the organic phase, C60 in the aqueous phase lost its intrinsic photochemical reactivity when they formed aggregates. Experiments performed using a laser flash photolysis suggested that the loss of reactivity resulted from a drastic decrease in lifetime of a key reaction intermediate, that is, triplet-state C60. This study suggests that the photochemical reactivity of C60 in the aqueous phase, which has been linked to oxidative damage in biological systems in earlier studies, is strongly dependent on the media environment surrounding C60.

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