Conformation-mediated Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in blue-emitting polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-passivated zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles
Kurt, Hasan and Alpaslan, Ece and Yıldız, Burçin and Taralp, Alpay and Ow-Yang, Cleva W. (2017) Conformation-mediated Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in blue-emitting polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-passivated zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 488 . pp. 348-355. ISSN 0021-9797 (Print) 1095-7103 (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2016.11.017
Homopolymers, such as polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), are commonly used to passivate the surface of blue light emitting ZnO nanoparticles during colloid nucleation and growth. However, although PVP is known to auto-fluoresce at 400 nm, which is near the absorption edge of ZnO, the impact of PVP adsorption characteristics on the surface of ZnO and the surface-related photophysics of PVP-capped ZnO nanoparticles is not well understood. To investigate, we have synthesized ZnO nanoparticles in solvents containing PVP of 3 concentrations-0.5, 0.7, and 0.11 g mL(-1). Using time-domain NMR, we show that the adsorbed polymer conformation differs with polymer concentration head-to-tail under low concentration (e.g., 0.05 gmL(-1)) and looping, then train-like, with increasing concentration (e.g., 0.07 g mL(-1) and 0.11 g mL(-1), respectively). When the surface-adsorbed PVP is entrained, the surface states of ZnO are passivated and radiative emission from surface trap states is suppressed, allowing emission to be dominated by exciton transitions in the UV (ca. 310 nm). Moreover, the reduced proximity between the PVP molecule and the ZnO gives rise to increased efficiency of energy transfer between the exciton emission of ZnO and the HOMO-LUMO absorption of PVP (ca. 400 nm). As a result, light emission in the blue is enhanced in the PVP-capped ZnO nanoparticles. We thus show that the emission properties of ZnO can be tuned by controlling the adsorbed PVP conformation on the ZnO surface via the PVP concentration in the ZnO precipitation medium.
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