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Graphene oxide from silk cocoon: a novel magnetic fluorophore for multi-photon imaging

Manas Roy, Tejas Sanjeev Kusurkar, Sandeep Kumar Maurya, Sunil Kumar Meena, Sushil Kumar Singh, Niroj Sethy, Kalpana Bhargava, Raj Kishore Sharma, Debabrata Goswami, Sabyasachi Sarkar, Mainak Das

Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur Kanpur-208016;  Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology Shibpur, Howrah-711103, India


In this work, we synthesized graphene oxide from silk cocoon embarking its new dimension as a magnetic fluorophore when compared with its present technical status, which at best is for extracting silk as a biomaterial for tissue engineering applications. We produced graphene oxide by pyrolysing the silk cocoon in an inert atmosphere. The collected raw carbon is oxidized by nitric acid that readily produces multilayer graphene oxide with nano carbon particulates. Structural properties of the graphene oxide were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. The oxidized sample shows remarkable fluorescence, multi-photon imaging and magnetic properties. On increasing the excitation wavelength, the fluorescence emission intensity of the graphene oxide also increases and found maximum emission at 380 nm excitation wavelength. On studying the two photon absorption (TPA) property of aqueous graphene oxide using Z-scan technique, we found significant TPA activity at near infrared wavelength. In addition, the graphene oxide shows ferromagnetic behavior at room temperature. The observed fluorescence and magnetic property were attributed to the defects caused in the graphene oxide structure by introducing oxygen containing hydrophilic groups during the oxidation process. Previously silk cocoon has been used extensively in deriving silk-based tissue engineering materials and as gas filter. Here we show a novel application of silk cocoon by synthesizing graphene oxide based magnetic-fluorophore for bio-imaging applications.

Links to the paper (link to the journal webpage):  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13205-013-0128-2#page-1

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