, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 1053-1063
Date: 11 Sep 2008

Surface-functionalization of spherical silver nanoparticles with macrocyclic polyammonium cations and their potential for sensing phosphates


The synthesis of aqueous dispersion of spherical, underivatized silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) stabilized by macrocyclic polyammonium chlorides (MCPAC), [28]ane-(NH2 +)6O2·6Cl (28-MCPAC) and [32]ane-(NH2 +)8·8Cl (32-MCPAC), which are evidently anion receptors, is reported. As-synthesized Ag-NPs are characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The 28/32-MCPAC-stabilized Ag-NPs show the surface plasmon band around 400 nm. The TEM-images show that the particles are spherical and well-dispersed. By tuning the 28/32-MCPAC:Ag-OAc (silver acetate) ratio, nanoparticles with different core diameters ranging from 13 to 8 nm for 28-MCPAC and from 10 to 6 nm for 32-MCPAC can be obtained. The advantage of using MCPAC as stabilizers is that they make the particles functionalized for sensing anions. Thus, the potential of the as-synthesized Ag-NPs for sensing phosphates: H2PO4 (monobasic phosphate, MBP), HPO4 2− (dibasic phosphate, DBP) and PO4 3− (tribasic phosphate, TBP) is investigated spectroscopically. Interaction of phosphate ions with macrocyclic polyammonium cations makes the Ag-NPs bare, leading agglomeration. The phosphate-assisted agglomeration of 32-MCPAC-Ag-NPs follow the order TBP > DBP ≫ MBP.