Water-phase synthesis of cationic silica/polyamine nanoparticles
Nguyen, Quang Xuan Luong
Wong, Michael S.
Master of Science
Functionalizing surfaces with amine groups through the hydrolytic condensation of aminotrialkoxysilanes is a typical approach when modifying silica particles for use in bioimaging, enzyme immobilization, and other applications. This processing step can be eliminated if amine-functionalized silica particles are directly prepared without using aminotrialkoxysilanes. Here, a one-pot, ambient-condition, water-phase method to synthesize silica-based nanoparticles (NPs) that present surface amine groups is described. The formation mechanism involves the electrostatic crosslinking of cationic polyallylamine hydrochloride by citrate anions and the infusion of the formed polymer/salt aggregates by silicic acid. The particles were unimodal with average diameters in the range of 40 to 100 nm, as determined by the size of the templating polymer/salt aggregates. Colorimetric analysis using Coomassie brilliant blue and zeta potential measurements confirmed the presence of surface amine groups of the hybrid silica/polymer NPs. Surface charge calculations indicated the hybrid NPs had a lower amine surface density than aminopropyltriethoxysilane-functionalized silica (0.057 #/nm 2 vs. 0.169 #/nm 2 at pH 7).
Applied sciences; Nanoscience; Nanotechnology; Materials science