This paper presents findings of the creation of biomimetic ion-gating properties with core - shell nanoparticle network architectures. The architectures were formed by hydrogen-bonding linkages via an exchange - cross-linking - precipitation reaction pathway using gold nanoparticles capped with thiolate shell and alkylthiols terminated with carboxylic groups as model building blocks. Such network assemblies have open frameworks in which void space is in the form of a channel or chamber with the nanometer- sized cores defining its size, the geometric arrangement defining its shape, and the shell structures defining its chemical specificity. The formation of the network linkages via head-to-head hydrogen-bonded carboxylic terminals and the reversible pH-tuned structural properties between neutral and ionic states were characterized using infrared reflectance spectroscopic technique. The biomimetic ion-gating properties were demonstrated by measuring the pH- tuned network 'open - close' responses to charged redox probes. Such redox responses were shown to depend on the degree of protonation - deprotonation of carboxylic groups at the interparticle linkages, core sizes of the nanoparticles, and charges of the redox probes. Differences in structural networking, pH-tuning, and electrochemical gating properties were identified between the network films derived from nanoparticles of two different core sizes (2 and 5 nm). The mechanistic correlation of these structural properties was discussed. These findings have added a new pathway to the current approaches to biomimetic molecular recognition via design of core - shell nanoparticle architectures at both nanocrystal and molecular scales.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry