Total synthesis of isotopically enriched Si-29 silica NPs as potential spikes for isotope dilution quantification of natural silica NPs

M. Pálmai, R. Szalay, D. Bartczak, Z. Varga, L. Naszályi Nagy, C. Gollwitzer, M. Krumrey, H. Goenaga-Infante
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 1 May 2015, Pages 161–165
Published May 2015
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A new method was developed for the preparation of highly monodisperse isotopically enriched Si-29 silica nanoparticles (29Si-silica NPs) with the purpose of using them as spikes for isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS) quantification of silica NPs with natural isotopic distribution. Si-29 tetraethyl orthosilicate (29Si-TEOS), the silica precursor was prepared in two steps starting from elementary silicon-29 pellets. In the first step Si-29 silicon tetrachloride (29SiCl4) was prepared by heating elementary silicon-29 in chlorine gas stream. By using a multistep cooling system and the dilution of the volatile and moisture-sensitive 29SiCl4 in carbon tetrachloride as inert medium we managed to reduce product loss caused by evaporation. 29Si-TEOS was obtained by treating 29SiCl4 with absolute ethanol. Structural characterisation of 29Si-TEOS was performed by using 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. For the NP preparation, a basic amino acid catalysis route was used and the resulting NPs were analysed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), dynamic light scattering (DLS) and zeta potential measurements. Finally, the feasibility of using enriched NPs for on-line field-flow fractionation coupled with multi-angle light scattering and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (FFF/MALS/ICP-MS) has been demonstrated.

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