Fluorescently Active Carbon Nanostructures from Neurotransmitter Family Precursors

Tuesday, 3 October 2017: 10:40
Chesapeake K (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
V. Ozhukil Kollath, F. D. Mayer, T. Mudigonda, M. N. Islam, and K. Karan (University of Calgary)
Three biologically significant molecules – dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine, all fall under the neurotransmitter category of molecules, upon liquid-phase polymerization gave rise to sphere, petal and nanodot shapes in a water-alcohol mixture under basic conditions. The size and uniformity of these nanostructures can be controlled by varying the reaction solvents. An extrapolation of size control in the case of dopamine nanospheres showed a minimum achievable diameter of 30 nm. Zetapotential measurements of the resulting nanostructure suspensions showed -40 mV, -18 mV and -11 mV respectively for dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine nanostructures. The current consensus on the formation mechanism of dopamine nanospheres in alkaline water-alcohol mixture cannot explain the nanostructures formed from epinephrine and norepinephrine. All three nanostructures showed inherent fluorescence, which makes them interesting candidates for shape and size controlled carbon nanostructures that can be employed for imaging structures in complex fluids. The resulted nanostructures were tested as precursor for carbon nanostructures, and characterized for structure integrity and fluorescence properties. The presentation will discuss the results of synthesis and characterization of basic properties.