Development of iron-doped silicon nanoparticles as bimodal imaging agents

Mani P. Singh, Tonya M. Atkins, Elayaraja Muthuswamy, Saeed Kamali, Chuqiao Tu, Angelique Y. Louie, Susan M. Kauzlarich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Figure Persented: We demonstrate the synthesis of water-soluble allylamine-terminated Fe-doped Si (Si xFe) nanoparticles as bimodal agents for optical and magnetic imaging. The preparation involves the synthesis of a single-source iron-containing precursor, Na 4Si 4 with x% Fe (x = 1, 5, 10), and its subsequent reaction with NH 4Br to produce hydrogen-terminated Si xFe nanoparticles. The hydrogen-capped nanoparticles are further terminated with allylamine via thermal hydrosilylation. Transmission electron microscopy indicates that the average particle diameter is ∼3.0 ± 1.0 nm. The Si 5Fe nanoparticles show strong photoluminescence quantum yield in water (∼10%) with significant T 2 contrast (r 2/r 1 value of 4.31). Electron paramagnetic resonance and Mössbauer spectroscopies indicate that iron in the nanoparticles is in the +3 oxidation state. Analysis of cytotoxicity using the resazurin assay on HepG2 liver cells indicates that the particles have minimal toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5596-5604
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 26 2012


  • cytotoxicity
  • hepatocytes
  • iron doping
  • resazurin assay
  • silicon nanoparticles
  • thermal hydrosilylation bimodal imaging agents
  • water-soluble

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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