We have designed two sets of aldehyde- and azide-modified ligands; these ligands also present lipoic acid anchors and PEG hydrophilic moieties (LA-PEG-CHO and LA-PEG-azide). We combined this design with a photoligation strategy to prepare QDs with good control over the fraction of intact reactive groups per nanocrystal.
We first applied the extremely efficient hydrazone coupling ligation to react the QD with hydrozinopyridine, which produces a well-defined absorption feature at 354 nm ascribed to the hydrazone chromophore. We exploited this signature to measure the number of aldehyde groups per QD when the fraction of LA-PEG-CHO per nanocrystal was varied, by comparing the optical signature at 354 with the molar extinction coefficient of the chromophore. This allowed us to extract an estimate for the number of LA-PEG ligand per QDs for a few distinct size nanocrystals. We further complemented these findings with the use of NMR spectroscopy to estimate of the ligand density using well defined signatures of the terminal protons of the ligands, and found a good agreement between the two techniques. We then showed that bio-orthogonal reactions based on CLICK and hydrazone coupling can be achieved using QDs presenting a mixture of azide and CHO functions. We anticipate that this strategy could be applied other nanoparticles such as those of Au and metals and semiconductor nanocrystals.
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Study of self-shadowing effect as a simple means to realize nanostructured thin films and layers with special attentions to birefringent obliquely deposited thin films and photo-luminescent porous silicon