Gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) and liquid crystals (LCs) have shown great potential in nanobiotechnology applications due to their unique optical and structural properties. Herein, the hardcore of the 4-cyano biphenyl group for commonly used LCs of 4-cyano-4′-pentylbiphenyl (5CB) was utilized to synthesize 4′-(2-mercaptoethyl)-(1,1′-biphenyl)-4-carbonitrile (TAT-12) based on Suzuki coupling and Appel reaction. The structural and optical properties of thiol-modified TAT-12 LCs were demonstrated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). By one-pot synthesis, thiol-modified TAT-12 LCs were used as the ligands to prepare fluorescent gold nanoclusters (AuNCs@TAT-12) according to the Au-S bond between AuNCs and TAT-12. The spectra of UV-vis absorption and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) of AuNCs@TAT-12 indicated that the core of gold of AuNCs@TAT-12 exhibited high gold oxidation states. The fluorescence of AuNCs@TAT-12 was observed with a maximum intensity at ~352 nm coming from TAT-12 on AuNCs@TAT-12 and the fluorescence quantum yield of AuNCs@TAT-12 was calculated to be 10.1%. Furthermore, the fluorescence with a maximum intensity at ~448 nm was attributed to a ligand–metal charge transfer between the ligands of TAT-12 LCs and the core of AuNCs. The image of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) further demonstrated an approximately spherical shape of AuNCs@TAT-12 with an average size of 2.3 nm. A combination of UV-vis absorption spectra, XPS spectra, fluorescence spectra and TEM image, fluorescent AuNCs@TAT-12 were successfully synthesized via one-pot synthesis. Our work provides a practical approach to the synthesis of LCs conjugated AuNCs for future applications in nanobiotechnology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 化學工程 (全部)