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Disulfide-functionalized hyperbranched poly(amidoamine) derivatives as both reductant and stabilizer for the synthesis of fluorescent gold nanoclusters A Physicochemical and engineering aspects

Zhang, Tong-Xian, Zhan, Chen, Chen, Yu, Yu, Li-Ping
Colloids and surfaces 2017 v.535 pp. 206-214
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, cytotoxicity, fluorescence, moieties, nanogold, neoplasms, pH, polymers, reducing agents, stabilizers, transmission electron microscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy
Hyperbranched polymers were successfully used as reductant and stabilizer for the synthesis of stable water-soluble fluorescent gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) through a one-step bottom-up strategy. The hyperbranched polymers having such performance were acetamide terminated hyperbranched poly(amidoamines) (HPA-Acs) with disulfide functional groups. Small sized (less than 2nm) AuNCs were formed under the optimal conditions of 80°C, weak acidic condition (around pH 4.3) for 15–20h. Through adjusting the feed ratio of HAuCl4 to HPA-Ac, the emitting light could be tuned from yellow to near-infrared. The measurements of UV–vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy further verified the formation of AuNCs. The quantum yields of the yellow and near-infrared fluorescent AuNCs were ca. 3.6% and 1.2%, respectively. The as-prepared AuNCs showed an excellent stability in a wide pH range (pH 2–12) and possessed low cytotoxicity for cancer HeLa cell, making it a suitable candidate for bioimaging.