In the oncology field, there is a need for enhanced cancer detection methods to verify cancer at the cellular level. High pressure, high temperature (HPHT) nanodiamonds (NDs) with nitrogen vacancy centers (NVC) are an emerging fluorophore. NDs are attractive for biolabelling due to their electron spin properties, all-carbon matrix, and long-term photostability, but have not been fully utilized in biological systems. The surface chemistry of HPHT NDs plays a role in colloidal stability, bioconjugation, and NVC photophysics. This project focuses on modifications of HPHT ND surfaces with gas phase amine chemistry. Amination chemistry was carried out in a high temperature tube furnace with reactive gases. Aminated NDs were characterized with NEXAFS, XPS, Raman spectroscopy, and FTIR. NEXAFS nitrogen K-edge spectra suggests multiple kinds of C-N bond orders. Our goal is to form a homogenous amine (-NH2) terminated surface to provide a foundation for further chemistry in cancer cell screening assays.

Using Synchrotron Radiation as a Tool for Bionanotechnology

Advisor: Dr. Abraham Wolcott

Authors:  Andres Arreola, Elena Favre, Alejandro Hernandez,

Anida Len, Dennis Norlund, Polo Tran