Fluorescence resonance energy transfer between phenanthrene and PAMAM dendrimers

M Lard and SH Kim and S Lin and P Bhattacharya and PC Ke and MH Lamm, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 12, 9285-9291 (2010).

DOI: 10.1039/b924522g

We describe herein an adsorption-induced energy transfer between phenanthrene, a major environmental pollutant, and a fluorescently labeled dendrimer acting as a host molecule. We find experimentally that such energy transfer is the most efficient at a solvent pH of 8 and for a phenanthrene : dendrimer molar ratio of 1 : 2. Using molecular dynamics simulations we show that the strongest binding interactions occur between phenanthrene and the primary amines of the dendrimer. The simulations provide evidence that at low pH, phenanthrene-phenanthrene interactions are favorable and compete with phenanthrene-dendrimer binding. This study offers a new scheme for detecting dendrimer molecular assembly and a physical basis for exploiting dendrimer nanotechnologies for water purification and environmental remediation.

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