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Anal Chem. 2008 Nov 15;80(22):8545-53. doi: 10.1021/ac8014356. Epub 2008 Oct 11.

Resonance energy transfer-amplifying fluorescence quenching at the surface of silica nanoparticles toward ultrasensitive detection of TNT.

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1
Key Laboratory of Biomimetic Sensing & Advanced Robot Technology, Institute of Intelligent Machines, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, Anhui 230031, China.

Abstract

This paper reports a resonance energy transfer-amplifying fluorescence quenching at the surface of silica nanoparticles for the ultrasensitive detection of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) in solution and vapor environments. Fluorescence dye and organic amine were covalently modified onto the surface of silica nanoparticles to form a hybrid monolayer of dye fluorophores and amine ligands. The fluorescent silica particles can specifically bind TNT species by the charge-transfer complexing interaction between electron-rich amine ligands and electron-deficient aromatic rings. The resultant TNT-amine complexes bound at the silica surface can strongly suppress the fluorescence emission of the chosen dye by the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) from dye donor to the irradiative TNT-amine acceptor through intermolecular polar-polar interactions at spatial proximity. The quenching efficiency of the hybrid nanoparticles with TNT is greatly amplified by at least 10-fold that of the corresponding pure dye. The nanoparticle-assembled arrays on silicon wafer can sensitively detect down to approximately 1 nM TNT with the use of only 10 microL of solution (approximately 2 pg TNT) and several ppb of TNT vapor in air. The simple FRET-based nanoparticle sensors reported here exhibit a high and stable fluorescence brightness, strong analyte affinity, and good assembly flexibility and can thus find many applications in the detection of ultratrace analytes.

PMID:
18847285
DOI:
10.1021/ac8014356
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