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Aggregation-Induced Emission (AIE)-Labeled Cellulose Nanocrystals for the Detection of Nitrophenolic Explosives in Aqueous Solutions

Department of Chemistry, Engineering Research Center of Natural Polymer-based Medical Materials in Hubei Province, and Key Laboratory of Biomedical Polymers of Ministry of Education, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
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Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050707
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
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Abstract

Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) active cellulose nanocrystals (TPE-CNCs) were synthesized by attaching tetraphenylethylene (TPE) to cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs). The structure and morphology of TPE-CNCs were characterized by FT-IR, XRD, ζ-potential measurements, elemental analysis, TEM, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and dynamic laser light scattering (DLS). Fluorescent properties of TPE-CNCs were also further studied. Unlike aggregation-caused quenching (ACQ), TPE-CNCs emitted weak fluorescence in the dilute suspensions, while emitting efficiently in the aggregated states. The AIE mechanism of TPE-CNCs was attributed to the restriction of an intramolecular rotation (RIR) process in the aggregated states. TPE-CNCs displayed good dispersity in water and stable fluorescence, which was reported through the specific detection of nitrophenolic explosives in aqueous solutions by a fluorescence quenching assay. The fluorescence emissions of TPE-CNCs showed quantitative and sensitive responses to picric acid (PA), 2,4-dinitro-phenol (DNP), and 4-nitrophenol (NP), and the detection limits were 220, 250, and 520 nM, respectively. Fluorescence quenching occurred through a static mechanism via the formation of a nonfluorescent complex between TPE-CNCs and nitrophenolic analytes. A fluorescence lifetime measurement revealed that the quenching was a static process. The results demonstrated that TPE-CNCs were excellent sensors for the detection of nitrophenolic explosives in aqueous systems, which has great potential applications in chemosensing and bioimaging. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose nanocrystals; aggregation-induced emission (AIE); detection; nitrophenolic explosives; fluorescence cellulose nanocrystals; aggregation-induced emission (AIE); detection; nitrophenolic explosives; fluorescence
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Ye, X.; Wang, H.; Yu, L.; Zhou, J. Aggregation-Induced Emission (AIE)-Labeled Cellulose Nanocrystals for the Detection of Nitrophenolic Explosives in Aqueous Solutions. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 707.

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