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  • Surface Functionalized Nanoparticles

    Surface functionalized nanoparticles refer to the treatment, modification and processing of the surface of nanoparticles by physical, chemical and other deep processing methods to control their internal stress, increase the repulsion of nanoparticles, reduce the attraction between particles, and purposely change the surface physical and chemical properties of the nanoparticles to give the nanoparticles new functions to meet their processing and application needs.


    The unmodified nanoparticles have fine particle size, large specific surface area, high surface energy, increased surface atom number, insufficient atomic coordination and high surface energy, making these surface atoms highly active and extremely unstable. During the preparation and use of nanoparticles, they are easy to agglomerate or adsorb with other substances. Surface functionalized nanoparticles can improve or enhance the compatibility between inorganic nanoparticles and the substrate or other substances in the composite materials. The applications in the fields of catalysis, environmental protection, microelectronics, biomedicine and chemical industry requires nanoparticles with specific surface physicochemical properties and functions.

    • Biomedicine: Nanoparticles are much smaller in size than living cells and have biological affinity and cognitive abilities because their shells or surfaces are modified by biomolecules. Biological surface functionalized nanoparticles can be used to analyze trace amounts of active substances in the life system on the nanometer scale, discuss life mechanisms, diagnose diseases, and can be used as a carrier for the delivery of drugs and groups, etc. Magnetic biological surface functionalized nanoparticles can be used to separate cells or biologically active molecules.
    • Examples of nanomaterials and their functional groups for biological applications.Figure 1. Examples of nanomaterials and their functional groups for biological applications.

    • Sewage treatment: Modify the surface of the nanoparticles with functional groups, and add strong adsorbents or perform chemical reactions to precipitate impurities and achieve purification. The surface functionalized nanoparticles have a large surface area and high controllability. Magnetic nanoparticles can realize efficient, environmentally friendly and economical water treatment.
    • Biosensor: Physical and chemical modification on the surface of functionalized nanoparticles with specific surface area can enhance their adsorption ability, increase the amount of fixed enzyme, surface free energy and electrochemical catalytic activity, effectively accelerate the electron transfer rate, improve the activity of the enzyme, and increase the sensitivity of the sensor.

    Production Processes:

    • Surface physical modification: This method is mainly used to modify the surface of nanoparticles through physical operations such as adsorption and coating of polymers or inorganic substances. The functional groups contained in the surface layer of nanoparticles and the quality control agent are mainly obtained through the interaction of van der Waals force, hydrogen bond or coordination bond.
    • Surface chemical modification: This method is mainly used to modify the molecules, and then make them react with a large number of hydroxyl groups and unsaturated residual bonds on the surface of nanoparticles, so as to change the surface structure and state, and achieve the purpose of surface modification.


    1. Shan Jiang, Khin Yin Win, Shuhua Liu, Choon Peng Teng, Yuangang Zheng and Ming-Yong Han. Surface-functionalized nanoparticles for biosensing and imaging-guided therapeutics [J]. Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 3127-3148.
    2. Vasudevanpillai Biju. Chemical modifications and bioconjugate reactions of nanomaterials for sensing, imaging, drug delivery and therapy [J]. Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 744-764.
    3. Shuwen Zeng, Dominique Baillargeat, Ho-Pui Ho and Ken-Tye Yong. Nanomaterials enhanced surface plasmon resonance for biological and chemical sensing applications [J]. Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 3426-3452.

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