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Thermo-responsive and aqueous dispersible ZnO/PNIPAM core/shell nanoparticles

Abstract : In this work, we developed a new process to covalently graft a thermoresponsive polymer on the surface of fluorescent nanocrystals in order to synthesize materials that combine both responsive and fluorescent properties. For the first time, poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) was grown by activator regenerated by electron transfer-atom transfer radical polymerization (ARGET-ATRP) from ZnO quantum dots (QDs) by surface-initiated polymerization. This process allowed the formation of fluorescent and responsive ZnO/PNIPAM core/shell QDs while only requiring the use of a ppm amount of copper for the synthesis. The influence of the nature of the silanized layer and the polymerization time on the properties of the final nanomaterials were investigated. Results clearly evidence that both the PNIPAM layer thickness and the temperature affected the luminescence properties of the core/shell nanoparticles, but also that the PNIPAM layer, when it is thick enough, could stabilize the QDs' optical properties.
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Halima Alem, Aleksandra Schejn, Thibault Roques-Carmes, Jaafar Ghanbaja, Raphaël Schneider. Thermo-responsive and aqueous dispersible ZnO/PNIPAM core/shell nanoparticles. Nanotechnology, Institute of Physics, 2015, 26 (33), ⟨10.1088/0957-4484/26/33/335605⟩. ⟨hal-01266251⟩



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