This study reports on the design of novel nanoconjugates of graphene quantum dots (GQDs) and tetra or octa-mercaptopyridine-substituted zinc and aluminium phthalocyanines (Pcs) deployed as fluorescence “turn ON” nanoprobes. The phthalocyanines were separately adsorbed onto the planar structure of graphene quantum dots (GQDs) via π-π stacking interaction to form GQDs-mercaptopyridine Pcs nanoconjugates. The quaternized Pc complexes could also interact with the GQDs through electrostatic attraction due to the positive charges on the Pcs ring substituents and the negative charges on the surface of GQDs. The fluorescence emission of the GQDs was quenched upon coordination to the respective Pcs. However, the fluorescence emission was “turned ON” in the presence of Hg2 + employed as a test analyte. The mechanism of the “turn ON” of the GQDs emission in the nanoconjugates is ascribed to the strong affinity of Hg2 + to bind with the bridging sulfur on the Pcs periphery thereby disrupting the π-π stacking interaction between the GQDs and the Pcs with a consequent “turn ON” of the coordinated GQDs’ fluorescence.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Spectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Nov 2016|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa through DST/NRF South African Research Chairs Initiative for Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Nanotechnology (UID 62620) as well as Rhodes University/DST Centre for Nanotechnology Innovation, Rhodes University, South Africa.
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.