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Facile Synthesis of Water-Soluble Zn-Doped AgIn5S8/ZnS Core/Shell Fluorescent Nanocrystals and Their Biological Application

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journal contribution
posted on 16.02.2015, 00:00 by Jiangluqi Song, Tongtong Jiang, Tianyi Guo, Ling Liu, Huijie Wang, Tongyan Xia, Wenting Zhang, Xuecheng Ye, Mingya Yang, Lixin Zhu, Ruixiang Xia, Xiaoliang Xu
Here we demonstrate a novel and facile strategy of highly luminescent water-soluble Zn-doped AgIn5S8 (ZAIS) nanocrystals and ZAIS/ZnS core/shell structures, which were based on hydrothermal reaction between the acetate salts of the corresponding metals and sulfide precursor in the presence of l-cysteine at 110 °C in a Teflon-lined autoclave. The photoluminescent (PL) emission wavelength can be conveniently tuned from 560 to 650 nm by tailoring the stoichiometric ratio of [Ag]/[Zn]. The as prepared nanocrystals were characterized systematically and exhibit long PL lifetimes more than 100 ns. The influence of experimental conditions, including concentration of l-cysteine and reaction temperature, was investigated. In addition, we performed a coating procedure with the ZnS shell outside the ZAIS core and showed excellent PL quantum yields up to 35%. The in vitro experiment exhibited quite low cytotoxicity and marvelous biocompatibility, revealing their promising prospect in bioscience. Furthermore, the obtained ZAIS/ZnS nanocompounds (NCs) were covalently conjugated to alpha-fetoprotein antibodies and targeted fluorescent imaging for hepatocellular carcinoma cells was realized.