Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

APTES-modified RE2O3:Eu3+ luminescent beads: structure and properties.

PMID 22273517


Europium-doped lanthanide oxide RE(2)O(3):Eu(3+) (RE = Y or Gd) luminescent beads, with a spherical shape and a diameter of 150 ± 15 nm, have been modified by reaction with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES), in order to introduce reactive amine groups at their surfaces. The direct silanation has resulted in the formation of a nanometric layer at the surface of the beads, with an optimum grafting rate of 0.055 ± 0.005 mol APTES/mol RE(2)O(3). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron (XPS) spectroscopies confirmed the condensation of an organosilane layer, made of cross-linked -O-Si-O-Si- and of groups -O-Si-R (with R = (CH(2))(3)NH(2) or O-Et). Titration of the accessible amine groups has been performed by simultaneously measuring the luminescence of grafted fluorescein isothiocyanate and that of core particles: there are about 2.3 × 10(4) (2.8 × 10(4)) -NH(2) per Y(2)O(3):Eu(3+) (Gd(2)O(3):Eu(3+)) bead. The isoelectronic point was shifted by one pH unit after APTES modification. The surface modification by APTES at least preserved (for Gd(2)O(3):Eu(3+)) or improved (for Y(2)O(3):Eu(3+)) the red emission of the beads.