Aqueous dispersions of super-paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles capped with QDs with controlled size, surface chemistry and morphology will be synthesized. Development of composite nanoparticles of luminescent QDs and magnetic nanoparticles offers a tremendous opportunity to create multifunctional single entities that can be held&dragged by an external magnetic and simultaneously detectable by their luminescence/magnetics which would impact many technology areas but especially, sensor, separation and diagnostic imaging.
Availability of a spectrum of colours controlled by the size of the QDs, combined with decoration of particles with molecular markers allows simultaneous analysis of multiple analytes, binding to multiple receptors, identification of multiple abnormalities, simultaneous imaging and delivery, dual imaging, detection and separation opportunities as well as modes of quantification. Synthesis of QDs (CdS/ZnS) and super-paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in aqueous solutions at low temperatures from soluble salts will be optimised and capping of particles with bifunctional organic molecules to achieve controlled size, stability and affinity between the two types of particles will be investigated.
Surface capping molecules will be chosen specifically for the composite formation, with surface binding thiol moieties for CdS/ZnS and trialkoxysilane or carboxylic acid functionality for iron oxide. Finally, one pot synthesis of the composite nanoparticles will be attempted the first time, to the best of our knowledge, by first preparing the iron oxide and then nucleating the QD on the particle without intermediate isolation of the magnetic nanoparticles. Methods are general enough to extent it to different QD compositions and a variety of new composite nanoparticles.
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