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Nanomaterials 2011, 1(1), 20-30; doi:10.3390/nano1010020

Metallic Nanoparticle Block Copoloymer Vesicles with Enhanced Optical Properties

Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Rd, CB21QT, Cambridge, UK
Received: 28 February 2011 / Revised: 8 April 2011 / Accepted: 3 May 2011 / Published: 9 May 2011
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The fabrication and characterization of template silver nanoshell structures and the encapsulation of gold nanoparticles using biocompatible poly(oxyethylene)-poly(butylene) diblock co-polymer vesicles is described in this work. These vesicles have a narrow diameter size distribution around 200 nm. Silver nanoparticles (Ø = 1–10 nm) functionalized with decanethiol were successfully entrapped in the hydrophobic membrane and non-functionalized gold nanoparticles (Ø = 3.0–5.5 nm) were encapsulated in the vesicle core. Transmission Electron Microscopy confirms the localisation of the particles; silver functionalized nanoparticles appear to thicken the vesicle membrane as shown with TEM image analysis. The enhancement of the optical properties is confirmed using transmission spectrophotometry; the 430 nm plasmon resonance peak of the silver nanoparticles was replaced by a broader extinction spectrum to beyond 700 nm (O.D. = 0.8). For a number density of 4.8 x 1012 mL-1 the scattering cross section was calculated to be 0.92 x 10-4 μm2 with a scattering coefficient of 0.44 mm-1. The measurements indicate scattering cross section of 3.8 x 10-5 μm2, attenuation coefficient of 0.18 mm-1 and extinction efficiency equal to 1.2 x 10-3. Stable and biocompatible block co-polymer vesicles can potentially be used as plasmon-resonant optical contrast agents for biomedical applications.
Keywords: block copolymer; metallic nanoparticle; optical properties; encapsulation block copolymer; metallic nanoparticle; optical properties; encapsulation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Martinez-Hurtado, J.L. Metallic Nanoparticle Block Copoloymer Vesicles with Enhanced Optical Properties. Nanomaterials 2011, 1, 20-30.

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