Synthesis of meso-tetra-(4-sulfonatophenyl) porphyrin (TPPS4) - CuInS/ZnS quantum dots conjugate as an improved photosensitizer

Ncediwe Tsolekile, Vuyelwa Ncapayi, Gabriel K. Obiyenwa, Mangaka Matoetoe, Sandile Songca, Oluwatobi S. Oluwafemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Metal-free, water-soluble and highly stable meso-tetra-(4-sulfonatophenyl) porphyrin (TPPS4) has been studied for their singlet oxygen quantum yield. However, TPPS4 suffers from inherent shortcomings. To address these, TPPS4 was conjugated to ternary copper indium sulphide/ zinc sulphide (CuInS2/ZnS) quantum dots (QDs). Purpose: We herein report for the first time the synthesis of TPPS4-CuInS/ZnS QDs conjugate as an improved photosensitizer. Methods: Water-soluble TPPS4 was synthesized from tetraphenylporphyrin (TPPH2) after silica-gel purification. The CuInS/ZnS QDs were synthesized by hydrothermal method at a Cu: In ratio of 1: 4. The porphyrin-QDs conjugate was formed via the daggling sulfonyl bond of the porphyrin and amine bond of the QDs. The effect of pH on the optical properties of TPPS4 was evaluated. The effect of Zn: Cu + In ratio on the ZnS shell passivation was examined to reduce structural defects on the as-synthesized QDs. Results: Various spectroscopic techniques were used to confirm the successful conversion of the organic TPPH2 to water-soluble TPPS4. The singlet oxygen generation evaluation shows an improved singlet oxygen quantum yield from 0.19 for the porphyrin (TPPS4) alone to 0.69 after conjugation (CuInS/ZnS-TPPS4) with an increase in the reaction rate constant (k (s-1)).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7065-7078
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Conjugation
  • CuInS/ZnS
  • Meso-tetra-(4-sulfonatophenyl) porphyrin
  • Quantum dots
  • Singlet oxygen
  • TTPS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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