Journal of Chemical Sciences

, Volume 112, Issue 3, pp 311–322 | Cite as

Fluorescence metrology of silica sol-gels - The effect of D2O and inorganic salts



We have developed a new method for measuringin- situ the growth of the nanometre-size silica particles which lead to the formation of sol-gel glasses. This technique is based on the decay of fluorescence polarisation anisotropy due to Brownian rotation of dye molecules bound to the particles. Results to date give near ångstrom resolution and demonstrate the feasibility of the approach both for providing industrial quality control and helping fundamental research. Our approach has several key advantages over traditional techniques for nanometre metrology, such as small angle X-ray and neutron scattering and electron microscopy. In this paper we present silica particle growth dynamics in a hydrogel as detected by two near-infrared dyes, the effect of adding D2O on the hydrodynamic radius and the effect of salt addition.


Fluorescence anisotropy sol-gel particle size syneresis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Brinker C J and Scherer G 1989Sol-gel science, the physics and chemistry of sol-gel processing (San Diego: Academic Press)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Thompson N L 1991 InTopics in fluorescence spectroscopy (ed.) J R Lakowicz (New York: Plenum) vol 1, pp 337Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Birmingham J J, Hughes N P and Treloar R 1995Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London B 350 325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lakowicz J R 1999Principles of fluorescence spectroscopy 2nd edn (New York: Plenum)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Geddes C D, Birch D J S, Apperson K, Chevers J M and McKeown I P 1999SPIE Proc. 3602 75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Geddes C D and Birch D J S 2000J. Non-Cryst. Solids 270 191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Arden-Jacob J, Marx N J and Drexhage K H 1997J. Fluoresc. 7 91Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Birch D J S and Imhof R E 1991 InTopics in fluorescence spectroscopy (ed.) J R Lakowicz (New York: Plenum) vol 1, pp 1Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Himmel B, Gerber T H and Bürger H 1987J. Non-Cryst. Solids 91 122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gerber T H, Himmel B and Hübert C 1994J. Non-Cryst. Solids 175 160CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Photophysics Group, Department of Physics and Applied PhysicsUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations