Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 2179–2187 | Cite as

Ferrocenyl branched poly (ethylene imine) micelles as reductive templates for the preparation of silver nanoparticles

Research Paper


Polymeric micelles with a branched poly (ethylene imine) shell and a reductive ferrocene core were prepared via self-assembly of ferrocene modified branched poly (ethylene imine) (BPEI-Fc). The well-controlled polymeric micelles with a reductive core were used as templates to prepare core–shell-structured silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in aqueous solution. The as-prepared nanoparticles were characterized by UV–Vis spectrophotometer, transmission electron microscope (TEM), selected-area electron diffraction (SAED), thermogravimetry analyzer (TGA), and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The AgNPs of 39 ± 9 nm with a 39-nm BPEI layer were obtained. It is demonstrated that ferrocene, which is a neutral, chemically stable, and nontoxic molecule, plays a dual role as the hydrophobe and as the electron donating group. Moreover, the formation of these particles was monitored in situ by UV–Vis spectrophotometer. It is found that the growth of AgNPs through reductive templates is much slower than that reduced by NaBH4. Meanwhile, the size distribution of AgNPs becomes narrower during the reaction. BPEI-covered AgNPs (Ag@BPEI) are stable up to 3 months and carry amino groups, which can further be bioconjugated. These core–shell-structured nanoparticles may enable them to be used for wide applications in aqueous solution.


Ferrocene Template synthesis Silver nanoparticles Functionalization Stability Core-shell nanoparticles Imaging agent 



Financial support received from Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC-20774082, 50830106), National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2006AA03Z329, 2006AA032444), Ph.D. Programs Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (No. 20070335024), Open Project of State Key Laboratory of Supramolecular Structure and Materials (SKLSSM200911), and Natural Science Foundation of China of Zhejiang Province (Y4080250) is greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Polymer Science, Key Laboratory of Macromolecule Synthesis and Functionalization of Minister of EducationZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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