, Volume 280, Issue 7, pp 653-660

Preparation of a novel polymeric fluorescent nanoparticle

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A new type of narrowly dispersed fluorescent crosslinked polystyrene (PS) nanoparticles (20–50 nm) was synthesized via a modified microemulsion copolymerization of styrene, crosslinker divinyl benzene (DVB) and a hydrophilic comonomer amino ethyl methacrylate hydrochloride (AEMH), in the presence of pyrene. Characterized by steady-state fluorescence spectra, these nanoparticles show high luminescent intensity and the embedded pyrene has a negligible desorption from the nanoparticles. The emission intensity I1 of the pyrene in the crosslinked nanoparticles is 40 times higher than that of pyrene in toluene or styrene solution with the same concentration. The fluorescence emission intensity can be varied by the amount of the monomer, crosslinker and pyrene, but is influenced little by the amount of AEMH in the range of investigation. The surface of the nanoparticles is modified by amino and amidino functional groups introduced by the comonomer and the initiator 2, 2′-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (V50), which controls the zeta potential on the particle surface.