New Article in JCIS

posted Jun 18, 2015, 4:48 PM by Shin-Hyun Kim
Soojeong Cho and Shin-Hyun Kim, "Hydroxide Ion-Mediated Synthesis of Monodisperse Dopamine-Melanin Nanospheres," Journal of Colloids and Interface Science, Accepted for publication (2015).  


Dopamine-melanin nanospheres are promising materials for photoprotection, structural coloration, and thermoregulation due to their unusual optical and chemical properties. Here, we report the experimental parameters which influence size of dopamine-melanin nanospheres and uniformity. Dopamine precursors are oxidatively polymerized in basic aqueous medium. Therefore, concentration of hydroxide ions significantly influences reaction rate and size of nanospheres. To investigate the effect of hydroxide ions, we adjust three different parameters which affect pH of medium: concentration of sodium hydroxide and dopamine hydrochloride, and reaction temperature. At constant temperature, concentration of hydroxide ions is linearly proportional to initial reaction rates which determine the number of nuclei for nanosphere growth. Temperature alters not only initial reaction rate but also diffusivity of molecules, leading to deviation from the relation between the reaction rate and the number of nuclei. The diameter of dopamine-melanin nanospheres can be readily controlled in a range of 80 - 490 nm through adjusting concentration of dopamine precursor, while maintaining uniform-size distribution and dispersion stability. The synthesized nanospheres are analyzed to confirm the chemical structure, which is composed of approximately 6 indole units. Moreover, surface and chemical properties of the nanospheres are characterized to provide valuable information for surface modification and application.
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