DOI: 10.3390/nano14010100 ISSN: 2079-4991

Chiroptically Active Multi-Modal Calcium Carbonate-Based Nanocomposites

Fearghal C. Donnelly, Finn Purcell-Milton, Eoin Caffrey, Lorenzo Branzi, Shelley Stafford, Faisal Ali Alhammad, Olan Cleary, Munirah Ghariani, Vera Kuznetsova, Yurii K. Gun’ko
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemical Engineering

The development of multimodal nano- and micro-structures has become an increasingly popular area of research in recent years. In particular, the combination of two or more desirable properties within a single structure opens multiple opportunities from biomedicine, sensing, and catalysis, to a variety of optical applications. Here, for the first time, we report the synthesis and characterization of multimodal chiroptically active CaCO3 nanocomposites. These composites have been prepared by a modified microemulsion method in the presence of an amino acid (cysteine). Following this, additional modalities have been introduced by loading the composites with luminescent nanoparticles or doping with Eu3+ ions. The luminescent composites have been produced by the incorporation of CuInZnS/ZnS or CdSe@ZnS/ZnS core/shell quantum dots, or via doping with trivalent europium. In this manner, we have produced chiroptically active composites with orange, green, and red luminescence. Overall, this work demonstrates the unique advantage and potential of our approach and new class of chiroptically active CaCO3 nanocomposites, which display tunable functionality to specific requirements via the incorporation of desired ions, nanoparticles, and chirality of the structure.

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