Compartmentalization of Gold Nanocrystals in Polymer Microparticles using Electrohydrodynamic Co-Jetting
Polymer particles with micro- and nanoscale anisotropy have received increasing interest for their ability to simultaneously present different physical- and chemical properties. In this communication, we demonstrate that gold nanocrystals (NCs) can be selectively incorporated into one compartment of anisotropic polymer particles. Stable bicompartmental particles were prepared via electrohydrodynamic co-jetting of aqueous nanoparticle suspensions followed by thermal cross-linking. Bicompartmental particle populations with different NC densities were obtained by varying the NC concentration in the jetting suspension. While NC-loaded polymer particles showed different optical properties depending on the NC density, they still maintained discrete interfaces between two partments. Moreover, the fraction of the bicompartmental particles was higher than 98% based on flow cytometry. This study delineates a new approach for preparation of inorganic/organic composite particles with precisely engineered, anisotropic nanoparticle distributions and may contribute to further developments in emerging scientific areas, such as smart materials or particle-based diagnostics.