Trans-4- [p- (N, N-Die (2-hydroxyethyl)) styryl] -N- ethyl pyridinium bromide (DHEASPBr-C2), a hemicyanine fluorescent dye, was encapsulated into silica nanoparticles by co-hydrolysis and co-condensation of organosilanes in the presence of the dye. The dye containing silica nanoparticles were applied onto cotton fabrics. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), UV–vis spectra, single-photon emission fluorescence spectra and reflectance spectra of the samples were characterized. The SEM results showed that the particle size (ranging from 100-200 nm) and dye encapsulating (1.5-8.1 mg dye per g silica matrix) could be adjusted by the concentration of fluorescent dye and organosilanes. The reflectance of the treated cotton fabrics showed that there were obvious adsorption spectra in 410 - 540 nm and emission spectra in 560 - 700 nm.
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