We report the synthesis of stearate functionalized nanobubbles of SiO2 with a few aniline molecules inside, represented as C6H5NH2@SiO2@stearate, exhibiting fluorescence with red-shifted emission. Stearic acid functionalization allows the materials to be handled just as free molecules, for dissolution, precipitation, storage etc. The methodology adopted involves adsorption of aniline on the surface of gold nanoparticles with subsequent growth of a silica shell through monolayers, followed by the selective removal of the metal core either using sodium cyanide or by a new reaction involving halocarbons. The material is stable and can be stored for extended periods without loss of fluorescence. Spectroscopic and voltammetric properties of the system were studied in order to understand the interaction of aniline with the shell as well as the monolayer, whilst transmission electron microscopy has been used to study the silica shell.
Volume 135, 2023
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