Photochemical and antimicrobial properties of novel C60 derivatives in aqueous systems

Jaesang Lee, Yuri Mackeyev, Min Cho, Dong Li, Jae Hong Kim, Lon J. Wilson, Pedro J.J. Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)


Four novel hexakis C60 derivatives with varying functionalities were synthesized, and their photochemical properties and photodynamic disinfection efficiencies were quantitatively evaluated. All these C 60 derivatives generated 1O2 more efficiently than commercial multihydroxylated C60 (fullerol), as assessed by furfuryl alcohol consumption and electron paramagnetic resonance analysis. Despite significant agglomeration/aggregation in the aqueous phase to micrometer-sized particles, nanosecond laser flash photolysis showed that the lifetime of triplet state (a key intermediate for energy transfer responsible for 1O2 production) was comparable to reported values for pristine C60 in organic phase. As a result of facile 1O2 production, the C60 derivatives efficiently inactivated Escherichia coli and MS-2 bacteriophage. Cationic aminofullerene hexakis, which likely exerted electrostatic attraction, exhibited exceptionally rapid virus inactivation even compared to commercial nano-TiO2 photocatalyst. These unique photodynamic, hydrophilic and cationic properties may be instrumental for the development of next generation photocatalysts for disinfection applications. The high ROS (reactive oxygen species) production activity and associated cytotoxicity are concerns for potential releases of functionalized C60 to the environment, and require careful assessment apart from other forms of C60 (e.g., nC60) that have been widely studied as model nanomaterials but behave differently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6604-6610
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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