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Mixed anionic surfactant-templated mesoporous silica nanoparticles for fluorescence detection of Fe3+
This work demonstrates a novel method for the synthesis of large pore mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with a pore diameter of 10.3 nm and a particle diameter of similar to 50 nm based on the incorporation of mixed anionic surfactants sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS) and sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) as the template in the synthesis process. The dispersity, morphology, pore structure and size of mesoporous nanoparticles were adjusted by changing the molar ratio of two anionic surfactants, the concentration of the co-structure-directing agent (3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane) and the reaction temperature. The results of synthesis experiments suggested that the formation of large pore MSNs involved a nucleation and growth process. MSNs were post-grafted with a Schiff base moiety for fluorescence sensing of Fe3+ in water. The applicability of functionalized MSNs was demonstrated by selective fluorescence detection of Fe3+ in aqueous media.