[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To develop fluorescent organic nanoparticles with tailored properties for imaging and sensing, full control over the size, fluorescence, stability, dynamics, and supramolecular organization of these particles is crucial. We have designed, synthesized, and fully characterized 12 nonionic fluorene co-oligomers that formed self-assembled fluorescent nanoparticles in water. In these series of molecules, the ratio of hydrophilic ethylene glycol and hydrophobic alkyl side chains was systematically altered to investigate its role on the above-mentioned properties. The nanoparticles consisting of π-conjugated oligomers containing polar ethylene glycol side chains were less stable and larger in size, while nanoparticles self-assembled from oligomers containing nonpolar pendant chains were more stable, smaller, and generally had a higher fluorescence quantum yield. Furthermore, the dynamics of the molecules between the nanoparticles was enhanced if the number of hydrophilic side chains increased. Energy transfer studies between naphthalene and benzothiadiazole fluorene co-oligomers with the same side chains showed no exchange of molecules between the particles for the apolar molecules. For the more polar systems, the exchange of molecules between nanoparticles took place at room temperature or after annealing. Self-assembled nanoparticles consisting of π-conjugated oligomers having different side chains caused self-sorting, resulting either in the formation of domains within particles or the formation of separate nanoparticles. Our results show that we can control the stability, fluorescence, dynamics, and self-sorting properties of the nanoparticles by simply changing the nature of the side chains of the π-conjugated oligomers. These findings are not only important for the field of self-assembled nanoparticles but also for the construction of well-defined multicomponent supramolecular materials in general.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), particularly lanthanide-doped nanocrystals, which emit high energy photons under excitation by the near-infrared (NIR) light, have found potential applications in many different fields, including biomedicine. Compared with traditional down-conversion fluorescence imaging, the NIR light excited upconversion luminescence (UCL) imaging relying on UCNPs exhibits improved tissue penetration depth, higher photochemical stability, and is free of auto-fluorescence background, which promises biomedical imaging with high sensitivity. On the other hand, the unique upconversion process of UCNPs may be utilized to activate photosensitive therapeutic agents for applications in cancer treatment. Moreover, the integration of UCNPs with other functional nanostructures could result in the obtained nanocomposites having highly enriched functionalities, useful in imaging-guided cancer therapies. This review article will focus on the biomedical imaging and cancer therapy applications of UCNPs and their nanocomposites, and discuss recent advances and future prospects in this emerging field.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transition-metal-catalyzed aryl-aryl coupling though C-H bonds activation, termed direct arylation, has been widely used in synthesis of a broad range of small molecules. In contrast to traditional coupling methods such as Suzuki coupling and Stille coupling, di-rect arylation does not involve tedious preparation of unstable, toxic organometallic reagents. Despite these advantages, direct arylation has not been applied to synthesis of -conjugated polymers until recently. In this perspective, we summarize the progress of direct aryla-tion polymerization for synthesis of various -conjugated polymers, including homopolymers of polythiophene derivatives and donor-acceptor alternating copolymers. We also discuss present challenges and future directions of this nascent methodology of polymerization for synthesis of functional -conjugated polymers that can find applications in optoelectronic devices such as solar cells and field effect transistors.
Current Organic Chemistry 02/2013; 17(9):999-1014. · 3.04 Impact Factor
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