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New Fluorescent Hybrid Materials Comprising Quantum Dots, Organic Fluorophores and Natural Fibre Substrates

A.J. Zeller, J.H. Johnston
Victoria University of Wellington, NZ

Keywords: fluorophore, quantum dots, ZnO, 8-Hydroxyquinoline, wool, paper


The nanotechnology research presented here deals with the development and characterisation of new fluorescent hybrid materials comprising quantum dots and organic fluorophores respectively with wool and paper fibres that exhibit tuneable optical fluorescence and electronic properties, for potential use in textiles and packaging and labelling papers. ZnO has been selected as the quantum dot material because it can be readily synthesised via a wet chemical method and fluoresces in the visible and UV regions. ZnO quantum dots synthesised by a sol-gel method have been attached to or incorporated into wool and paper fibres respectively either directly or through the use of linker molecules (such as Mercaptosuccinic acid and 8-Hydroxyquinoline). 8-Hydroxyquinoline forms fluorescent chelates with zinc and other metal ions. Zinc doped wool and paper fibres also show bright fluorescence, if 8-Hydroxyquinoline is added as a fluorescent complex binder. The chemical bonding, optical and electronic properties of these new fluorescent hybrid–fibre materials have been characterised by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction. As 8-Hydroxyquinoline has inherent anti-microbial properties, the Zn-8-Hydroxyquinoline wool and paper fibres composites have been also tested against gram positive and gram negative bacteria.
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