Silica covered porphyrin microstructures obtained in sol–gel processes
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In this article, we report on the formation of well-defined highly emissive silica-covered porphyrin microstructures in base-catalyzed sol–gel processes. The microstructures were obtained by self-assembly of 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(4-hydroxyphenyl)porphyrin (mTHPP) at room temperature. Tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) was used as a silica precursor. The hybrid mTHPP- silica particles were characterized by means of reflectance UV–Vis and microscopy techniques including atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal fluorescence microscopy (CM). The SEM and TEM observations revealed that depending on the porphyrin concentration used in the synthesis, the shape of the hybrid mTHPP-silica particles has changed from ribbon-like (c mTHPP = 2.09 mM) to rhombus-like structures (c mTHPP = 4.35 mM). The ribbons were straight-edged, uniform in width (1.2–1.8 μm) and height (350–400 nm), and variable in length (40–100 μm). The rhombs were 1–3.7 μm in height, 7–25 μm in length, and 3.5–15 μm in width, and the ratio of length to width was uniform and equal to ca. 1.8–2. UV–Vis absorption spectra indicated that the J-aggregates and H-aggregates formed in the systems with lower and higher porphyrin content, respectively. Formation of different type of porphyrin aggregates in both systems resulted in different emission spectra, as it was shown with CM.
KeywordsPorphyrin Sol–gel Microstructures Silica Fluorescence
The Project was operated within the Foundation for Polish Science Team Programme co-financed by the EU European Regional Development Fund, Polymed, TEAM/2008-2/6. The research was carried out with the equipment purchased thanks to the financial support of the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of the Polish Innovation Economy Operational Program (contract no. POIG.02.01.00-12-023/08).
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