Light-induced tumor theranostics based on chemical-exfoliated borophene

Light Sci Appl. 2022 Nov 11;11(1):324. doi: 10.1038/s41377-022-00980-9.


Among 2D materials (Xenes) which are at the forefront of research activities, borophene, is an exciting new entry due to its uniquely varied optical, electronic, and chemical properties in many polymorphic forms with widely varying band gaps including the lightest 2D metallic phase. In this paper, we used a simple selective chemical etching to prepare borophene with a strong near IR light-induced photothermal effect. The photothermal efficiency is similar to plasmonic Au nanoparticles, with the added benefit of borophene being degradable due to electron deficiency of boron. We introduce this selective chemical etching process to obtain ultrathin and large borophene nanosheets (thickness of ~4 nm and lateral size up to ~600 nm) from the precursor of AlB2. We also report first-time observation of a selective Acid etching behavior showing HCl etching of Al to form a residual B lattice, while HF selectively etches B to yield an Al lattice. We demonstrate that through surface modification with polydopamine (PDA), a biocompatible smart delivery nanoplatform of B@PDA can respond to a tumor environment, exhibiting an enhanced cellular uptake efficiency. We demonstrate that borophene can be more suitable for safe photothermal theranostic of thick tumor using deep penetrating near IR light compared to gold nanoparticles which are not degradable, thus posing long-term toxicity concerns. With about 40 kinds of borides, we hope that our work will open door to more discoveries of this top-down selective etching approach for generating borophene structures with rich unexplored thermal, electronic, and optical properties for many other technological applications.

PMID:36369148 | DOI:10.1038/s41377-022-00980-9


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