Biomimetic synthesis of chiral erbium-doped silver/peptide/silica core-shell nanoparticles (ESPN)
Peptide-modified silver nanoparticles have been coated with an erbium-doped silica layer using a method inspired by silica biomineralization. Electron microscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering confirm the presence of an Ag/peptide core and silica shell. The erbium is present as small Er(2)O(3) particles in and on the silica shell. Raman, IR, UV-Vis, and circular dichroism spectroscopies show that the peptide is still present after shell formation and the nanoparticles conserve a chiral plasmon resonance. Magnetic measurements find a paramagnetic behavior. In vitro tests using a macrophage cell line model show that the resulting multicomponent nanoparticles have a low toxicity for macrophages, even on partial dissolution of the silica shell.