A novel optical nanoprobe based on silicon quantum dots (SiQDs) has been assembled through a one-pot low-temperature (40 °C) treatment by using 3-(aminopropyl)trimethoxysilane (APTMS) and ascorbic acid (AA) as two precursors. The water-soluble SiQDs demonstrate intense green luminescence in aqueous environment and the excitation-dependent feature has been explored. Meanwhile, the incorporation of salicylaldehyde (SA) serves to suppress the emission of SiQDs effectively via nucleophilic reaction and an "on-off" change is observed. Furthermore, the addition of Zn2+ can lead to evolution of emission peaks, and the green band at 500 nm gradually shifts toward the blue side at 455 nm. The corresponding ratiometric signal changes (I455/I500) can accurately determine the Zn2+ concentration and the limit of detection is calculated to be 0.17 μM in the linear range between 1 and 100 μM. In this research, a molecular logic gate (AND) system has been well established by using SA and Zn2+ as two inputs. The fluorescence emission changes based on SiQDs will shed new light on the development of functional sensors at the nanoscale level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry