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Probing the Microenvironment in the Confined Pores of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles.

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The microenvironment inside of the pores of mesoporous silica nanoparticles is probed using spectroscopic techniques. The probe molecules are sealed inside of the pores by a nanovalve system that is capable of controlling the access to the pore and ensuring the exclusive probing of the pore environment without any interference from the probe molecules on the outer surface of the particles or from the surrounding solution. Rigidochromism studies are used to evaluate the rigidity of the solvent matrix inside of the pore, and dynamic fluorescence anisotropy experiments are employed to determine the rotational diffusion freedom of the probe molecule. The data show that those probe molecules are neither completely free to move nor tightly attached to the pore wall, and their mobility is changed by altering the charge of the pore wall.

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