Optically Active Spherical Polyelectrolyte Brushes with a Nanocrystalline Magnetic Core

Authors

  • Aristides Bakandritsos,

    Corresponding author
    1. Materials Science Department, School of Natural Sciences University of Patras Rio 26504, Patras (Greece)
    • Materials Science Department, School of Natural Sciences University of Patras Rio 26504, Patras (Greece).
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  • Nikos Bouropoulos,

    1. Materials Science Department, School of Natural Sciences University of Patras Rio 26504, Patras (Greece)
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  • Radek Zboril,

    1. Department of Physical Chemistry and Nanomaterial Research Centre Palacky University Svobody 26, 77146 Olomouc (Czech Republic)
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  • Kostas Iliopoulos,

    1. Department of Physics, School of Natural Sciences University of Patras Rio 26504, Patras (Greece)
    2. Institute of Chemical Engineering and High Temperature Chemical Processes (ICEHT), Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) 26504, Patras (Greece)
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  • Nikos Boukos,

    1. Institute of Materials Science NCSR “Demokritos” Agia Paraskevi 15310, Athens (Greece)
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  • George Chatzikyriakos,

    1. Department of Physics, School of Natural Sciences University of Patras Rio 26504, Patras (Greece)
    2. Institute of Chemical Engineering and High Temperature Chemical Processes (ICEHT), Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) 26504, Patras (Greece)
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  • Stelios Couris

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics, School of Natural Sciences University of Patras Rio 26504, Patras (Greece)
    2. Institute of Chemical Engineering and High Temperature Chemical Processes (ICEHT), Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) 26504, Patras (Greece)
    • Department of Physics, School of Natural Sciences University of Patras Rio 26504, Patras (Greece).
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  • Dr. V. Karoutsos is acknowledged for AFM measurements, Dr. V. Psycharis for providing XRD facilities, Dr. D. Vachliotis and the Laboratory of Instrumental Analysis of Patras University for chemical analysis, and Dr. V. Nikolakis (Institute of Chemical Engineering and High Temperature Chemical Processes) for the provision of Malvern Zeta Sizer instrumentation. Dr. D. Petridis is acknowledged for constructive discussions on magnetic iron oxides formation. This work was supported by the Projects of the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic (1M619895201 and MSM6198959218) and by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ASCR, KAN115600801). Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the authors.

Abstract

The unique properties of magnetic nanocrystals have triggered intensive research towards their effective functionalization and application in many technological fields. Although synthesis of magnetic colloids is being thoroughly studied, there is limited knowledge on the synthesis, characterization, and properties of magnetic polyelectrolyte spherical brushes. In the present work, the preparation of such hybrids and the subsequent formation of stable aqueous colloids are described. The core of the spherical brush consists of a magnetic γ-Fe2O3 nanocrystallite (faceted but mostly spherical-like) with a mean diameter of 17 nm. The bioadhesive polyelectrolyte poly(sodium 4-styrene sulfonate), forming the surrounding brush layer, was proven to be an effective covalently modifying macromolecule for the iron oxide surface, as Fourier transform IR spectroscopy revealed. Several observations on colloidal aspects are discussed and are successfully explained by models and experiments describing polyelectrolyte brushes with a soft polymeric core. Finally, the hybrids exhibit their multifunctional character and their technological importance by combining in a single and soluble product with magnetic and nonlinear optical properties.

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