Binding studies of molecular linkers to ZnO and MgZnO nanotip films

Olena Taratula, Elena Galoppini, Dong Wang, Dorothy Chu, Zheng Zhang, Hanhong Chen, Gaurav Saraf, Yicheng Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Two bifunctional linkers, a rigid-rod p-ethynyl-isophthalic acid capped with a Ru(II)-polypyridyl complex and 3-mercaptopropionic acid, were covalently bound to ZnO nanotip films grown by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) technology. This highly vertically aligned, crystalline form of ZnO had not been functionalized before. The binding was studied by Fourier transform (FT) IR and UV spectroscopies and probed, in the case of the Ru complex, by static and dynamic fluorescence quenching. The molecules did bind through the carboxylic acid groups, and the FT-IR attenuated total reflectance spectra are indicative of a bidentate carboxylate binding mode. Other molecules (heptanoic acid, isophthalic acid, and trimethoxy(2-phenylethyl)silane) were also bound to the ZnO nanotips. A comparison was made with epitaxial ZnO films grown by MOCVD and ZnO mesoporous films prepared from colloidal solutions to investigate the effect of the ZnO morphology. The ZnO nanotips were excellent binding substrates, particularly for the rigid-rod linker. Since ZnO films are etched at low pH (<4), novel nanotip films made of ternary MgxZn 1-xO, which is formed by alloying ZnO with MgO and is more resistant to acids, were developed. The MgxZn1-xO nanotip films were employed to use linkers with acidic groups and to study the effect of pH pretreatment of the surface on the binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6506-6515
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number13
StatePublished - May 6 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Binding studies of molecular linkers to ZnO and MgZnO nanotip films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this