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Metal-particle-induced enhancement of the photoluminescence from biomolecule-functionalized carbon nanotubes

Se-Jin Kim1, June Park1, Yuhyun Jeong1, Hayoung Go2, Kangseok Lee2, Seunghun Hong3 and Maeng-Je Seong1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physics, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 156-756, Republic of Korea

2 Department of Life Science, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 156-756, Republic of Korea

3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul 156-757, Republic of Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:85  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-85

Published: 18 February 2014


The effect of metal particles on the photoluminescence (PL) and the Raman spectra of functionalized SWCNTs in aqueous solutions was systematically investigated by studying three different metal particles (gold, cobalt, and nickel) on three different SWCNT suspensions (DNA-, RNA-, and sodium deoxycholate salt (DOC)-functionalized SWCNTs). Substantial enhancement of the PL intensities was observed, while the Raman spectra remained unchanged, after gold, cobalt, or nickel particles were introduced into RNA-SWCNT aqueous suspensions. Almost the same results were obtained after the same metal particles were added to DNA-SWCNT aqueous suspensions. However, both the PL and the Raman spectra did not exhibit any change at all after the same metal particles were introduced into DOC-SWCNT aqueous suspensions. The unusual PL enhancements observed in this work cannot be accounted for by the three well-known mechanisms in the literature: surface-enhanced Raman scattering effect, Förster resonance energy transfer in a rebundling of isolated SWCNTs, and pH changes of the aqueous solutions.

Carbon nanotube; Metal-particle-induced photoluminescence enhancement; RNA-functionalized carbon nanotube