Silicon Nanoparticles

Author: Loes Ruizendaal
Supervisor: Han Zuilhof
Tel. 0031 317 482968


Silicon nanoparticles (Si NPs) show a broad absorption in the UV, and a size-tunable emission wavelength.[1] They show no photobleaching and are water soluble after suitable functionalization. Via a recently developed procedure from our laboratories, they can be obtained with a very well-defined size: 1.57 ± 0.22 nm in diameter as measured with TEM.
The Si NPs are synthesized in reversed micelles of N(C8H17)4 Br- in toluene, via a short synthetic route (< 3hr) with mild silicon sources and high yields up to gram-scale[2] (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Schematic overview of the synthesis of Si NPs.

The Si NPs can be functionalized with different R-groups including alkenes, -NH2 , -COOH and -COOMe. Such terminations allow one to attach biofunctional groups like DNA and peptides, e.g via  EDC/NHC chemistry in combination with NH2-terminated oligoDNAs (Figure 2).
With such functionalizations the Si NPs gives possibilities for biomarkers, sensing options and bioimaging.

Figure 2. Functionalization of the Si NPs using EDC/NHC chemistry.

Fields of interests:
Fluorescence, Silicon chemistry.

1. Huisken F. et al. Adv. Mat. 2002, 1861.
2. Rosso-Vasic M. et al. Small  2008, 1835.