Journal of colloid and interface science

Modulating the nanorods protrusion from poly(allylamine hydrochloride)-g-pyrene microcapsules by 1-pyrenesulfonic acid sodium salt.

PMID 23777868


It was found previously that the Schiff base bonds in poly(allylamine hydrochloride)-g-pyrene (PAH-Py) microcapsules (MCs) are hydrolyzed at pH 2 within 1 h, leading to disassembly of the MCs and protrusion of pyrene aldehyde (Py) nanorods (NRs) on the capsule surface. Herein, we found a new way to modulate the protrusion of NRs by addition of 1-pyrenesulfonic acid sodium salt (PySO3Na). Along with the increase in PySO3Na to Py molar ratio in the MCs solution, the protrusion of NRs was progressively blocked and even inhibited at a ratio of 2.3, and at this condition, the microcapsules were stable under pH 2 for 24 h. After the composite microcapsules with excess PySO3Na were washed with a pH 10 solution and then incubated in a pH 2 solution, the NRs could be protruded from the MCs again. The fluorescence peak position of the PAH-Py/PySO3Na MCs gradually red-shifted with a decrease in pH value, and a sharp transition occurred at p H3.6, demonstrating the formation of pyrene excimers between the PySO3Na small molecules and the pendant Py groups on the PAH chain. The formed excimers take the role of blocking the self-assembly of cleaved Py molecules instead of inhibiting the hydrolysis of the Schiff base, whereas the MCs were stabilized by the charge interaction between PySO3Na and PAH backbone and the hydrophobic interaction between the pyrene rings.