Anticarcinogenic activity of blue fluorescent hexagonal boron nitride quantum dots: as an effective enhancer for DNA cleavage activity of anticancer drug doxorubicin.
ABSTRACT: Blue fluorescent hexagonal boron nitride quantum dots (h-BNQDs) of ?10 nm size as an effective enhancer for DNA cleavage activity of anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) were synthesized using simple one-step hydrothermal disintegration of exfoliated hexagonal boron nitride at very low temperature ? 120 °C. Boron nitride quantum dots (BNQDs) at a concentration of 25 ?g/ml enhanced DNA cleavage activity of DOX up to 70% as checked by converting supercoiled fragment into nicked circular PBR322 DNA. The interaction of BNQDs with DOX is proportional to the concentration of BNQDs, with binding constant K b ?0.07338 ?g/ml. In addition, ab initio theoretical results indicate that DOX is absorbed on BNQDs at the N-terminated edge with binding energy -1.075 eV and prevented the normal replication mechanisms in DNA. BNQDs have been shown to kill the breast cancer cell MCF-7 extensively as compared with the normal human keratinocyte cell HaCaT. The cytotoxicity of BNQDs may be correlated with reduced reactive oxygen species level and increased apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, which may be liable to enhance the anticancerous activity of DOX. The results provide a base to develop BNQD-DOX as a more effective anticancer drug.
Project description:Despite a rich choice of two-dimensional materials, which exists these days, heterostructures, both vertical (van der Waals) and in-plane, offer an unprecedented control over the properties and functionalities of the resulted structures. Thus, planar heterostructures allow p-n junctions between different two-dimensional semiconductors and graphene nanoribbons with well-defined edges; and vertical heterostructures resulted in the observation of superconductivity in purely carbon-based systems and realisation of vertical tunnelling transistors. Here we demonstrate simultaneous use of in-plane and van der Waals heterostructures to build vertical single electron tunnelling transistors. We grow graphene quantum dots inside the matrix of hexagonal boron nitride, which allows a dramatic reduction of the number of localised states along the perimeter of the quantum dots. The use of hexagonal boron nitride tunnel barriers as contacts to the graphene quantum dots make our transistors reproducible and not dependent on the localised states, opening even larger flexibility when designing future devices.
Project description:As heavy metal-free quantum dots, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) and boron nitride (BN) quantum dots (QDs) have aroused great interest due to features such as good thermal conductivity, chemical stability, and unique optical properties. Although TMDs have been synthesized using different methods, most of these methods require time-consuming or complex steps, limiting the applications of TMDs. We propose a fast and simple method for the synthesis of high-quality molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) QDs and tungsten disulfide (WS2) QDs based on femtosecond laser ablation and sonication-assisted liquid exfoliation. The prepared MoS2 QDs and WS2 QDs were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The resulting products possessed few-layered thickness with an average size of 3.7 nm and 2.1 nm. Due to the abundance of functional groups on their surface, the MoS2 QDs and WS2 QDs showed bright blue-green luminescence under UV irradiation. Our method offers a facile and novel synthetic strategy for TMDs QDs and other two-dimensional nanomaterial quantum dots, such as boron nitride quantum dots (BNQDs).
Project description:Hexagonal boron nitride is often referred to as white graphene. This is a 2D layered material, with a structure similar to graphene. It has gained many applications in cosmetics, dental cements, ceramics etc. Hexagonal boron nitride is also used in medicine, as a drug carrier similar as graphene or graphene oxide. Here we report that this material can be exfoliated in two steps: chemical treatment (via modified Hummers method) followed by the sonication treatment. Afterwards, the surface of the obtained material can be efficiently functionalized with gold nanoparticles. The mitochondrial activity was not affected in L929 and MCF-7 cell line cultures during 24-h incubation, whereas longer incubation (for 48, and 72 h) with this nanocomposite affected the cellular metabolism. Lysosome functionality, analyzed using the NR uptake assay, was also reduced in both cell lines. Interestingly, the rate of MCF-7 cell proliferation was reduced when exposed to h-BN loaded with gold nanoparticles. It is believed that h-BN nanocomposite with gold nanoparticles is an attractive material for cancer drug delivery and photodynamic therapy in cancer killing.
Project description:The insulator characteristic of hexagonal boron nitride limits its applications in microelectronics. In this paper, the fluorinated hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets were prepared by doping fluorine into the boron nitride nanosheets exfoliated from the bulk boron nitride in isopropanol via a facile chemical solution method with fluoboric acid; interestingly, these boron nitride nanosheets demonstrate a typical semiconductor characteristic which were studied on a new scanning tunneling microscope-transmission electron microscope holder. Since this property changes from an insulator to a semiconductor of the boron nitride, these nanosheets will be able to extend their applications in designing and fabricating electronic nanodevices.
Project description:We unravel the mystery of mechanically decoupled defect centers in hexagonal boron nitride. Quantum emitters in hexagonal boron nitride were recently reported to hold unusual narrow homogeneous linewidths of tens of megahertz within the Fourier transform limit at room temperature. This unique observation was traced back to decoupling from in-plane phonon modes. Here, we investigate the origins for the mechanical decoupling. New sample preparation improved spectral diffusion, which allowed us to reveal a gap in the electron-phonon spectral density for low phonon frequencies. This sign for mechanical decoupling persists up to room temperature and explains the observed narrow lines at 300 kelvin. We investigate the dipole emission directionality and reveal preferred photon emission through channels between the layers supporting the claim for out-of-plane distorted defect centers. Our work provides insights into the underlying physics for the persistence of Fourier transform limit lines up to room temperature and gives a guide to the community on how to identify the exotic emitters.
Project description:We selectively excite and study two new types of phonon-polariton guided modes that are found in hexagonal boron nitride thin flakes on a gold substrate. Such modes show substantially improved confinement and a group velocity that is hundreds of times slower than the speed of light, thereby providing a new way to create slow light in the mid-infrared range with a simple structure that does not require nano-patterning. One mode is the fundamental mode in the first Restrahlen band of hexagonal boron nitride thin crystals on a gold substrate; the other mode is equivalent to the second mode of the second Restrahlen band of hexagonal boron nitride flakes that are suspended in vacuum. The new modes also couple efficiently with incident light at the hexagonal boron nitride edges, as we demonstrate experimentally using photo-induced force microscopy and scanning near-field optical microscopy. The high confinement of these modes allows for Purcell factors that are on the order of tens of thousands directly above boron nitride and a wide band, with new perspectives for enhanced light-matter interaction. Our findings demonstrate a new approach to engineering the dispersion of polaritons in 2D materials to improve confinement and light-matter interaction, thereby paving the way for new applications in mid-infrared nano-optics.
Project description:Quantum confinement has made it possible to detect and manipulate single-electron charge and spin states. The recent focus on two-dimensional (2D) materials has attracted significant interests on possible applications to quantum devices, including detecting and manipulating either single-electron charging behavior or spin and valley degrees of freedom. However, the most popular model systems, consisting of tunable double-quantum-dot molecules, are still extremely difficult to realize in these materials. We show that an artificial molecule can be reversibly formed in atomically thin MoS<sub>2</sub> sandwiched in hexagonal boron nitride, with each artificial atom controlled separately by electrostatic gating. The extracted values for coupling energies at different regimes indicate a single-electron transport behavior, with the coupling strength between the quantum dots tuned monotonically. Moreover, in the low-density regime, we observe a decrease of the conductance with magnetic field, suggesting the observation of Coulomb blockade weak anti-localization. Our experiments demonstrate for the first time the realization of an artificial quantum-dot molecule in a gated MoS<sub>2</sub> van der Waals heterostructure, which could be used to investigate spin-valley physics. The compatibility with large-scale production, gate controllability, electron-hole bipolarity, and new quantum degrees of freedom in the family of 2D materials opens new possibilities for quantum electronics and its applications.
Project description:Graphene-boron nitride monolayer heterostructures contain adjacent electrically active and insulating regions in a continuous, single-atom thick layer. To date structures were grown at low pressure, resulting in irregular shapes and edge direction, so studies of the graphene-boron nitride interface were restricted to the microscopy of nanodomains. Here we report templated growth of single crystalline hexagonal boron nitride directly from the oriented edge of hexagonal graphene flakes by atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition, and physical property measurements that inform the design of in-plane hybrid electronics. Ribbons of boron nitride monolayer were grown from the edge of a graphene template and inherited its crystallographic orientation. The relative sharpness of the interface was tuned through control of growth conditions. Frequent tearing at the graphene-boron nitride interface was observed, so density functional theory was used to determine that the nitrogen-terminated interface was prone to instability during cool down. The electronic functionality of monolayer heterostructures was demonstrated through fabrication of field effect transistors with boron nitride as an in-plane gate dielectric.
Project description:Hexagonal boron nitride is a large band-gap insulating material which complements the electronic and optical properties of graphene and the transition metal dichalcogenides. However, the intrinsic optical properties of monolayer boron nitride remain largely unexplored. In particular, the theoretically expected crossover to a direct-gap in the limit of the single monolayer is presently not confirmed experimentally. Here, in contrast to the technique of exfoliating few-layer 2D hexagonal boron nitride, we exploit the scalable approach of high-temperature molecular beam epitaxy to grow high-quality monolayer boron nitride on graphite substrates. We combine deep-ultraviolet photoluminescence and reflectance spectroscopy with atomic force microscopy to reveal the presence of a direct gap of energy 6.1?eV in the single atomic layers, thus confirming a crossover to direct gap in the monolayer limit.
Project description:We demonstrate that localized excitons in luminescent carbon nanotubes can be utilized to study electrostatic fluctuations in the nanotube environment with sensitivity down to the elementary charge. By monitoring the temporal evolution of the cryogenic photoluminescence from individual carbon nanotubes grown on silicon oxide and hexagonal boron nitride, we characterize the dynamics of charge trap defects for both dielectric supports. We find a one order of magnitude reduction in the photoluminescence spectral wandering for nanotubes on extended atomically flat terraces of hexagonal boron nitride. For nanotubes on hexagonal boron nitride with pronounced spectral fluctuations, our analysis suggests proximity to terrace ridges where charge fluctuators agglomerate to exhibit areal densities exceeding those of silicon oxide. Our results establish carbon nanotubes as sensitive probes of environmental charge fluctuations and highlight their potential for applications in electrometric nanodevices with all-optical readout.