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1.
J Am Chem Soc ; 2020 Jun 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32531162

RESUMO

Advances in automation and data analytics can aid exploration of the complex chemistry of nanoparticles. Lead halide perovskite colloidal nanocrystals provide an interesting proving ground: there are reports of many different phases and transformations, which has made it hard to form a coherent conceptual framework for their controlled formation through traditional methods. In this work, we systematically explore the portion of Cs-Pb-Br synthesis space in which many optically distinguishable species are formed using high-throughput robotic synthesis to understand their formation reactions. We deploy an automated method that allows us to determine the relative amount of absorbance that can be attributed to each species in order to create maps of the synthetic space. These in turn facilitate improved understanding of the interplay between kinetic and thermodynamic factors that underlie which combination of species are likely to be prevalent under a given set of conditions. Based on these maps, we test potential transformation routes between perovskite nanocrystals of different shapes and phases. We find that shape is determined kinetically, but many reactions between different phases show equilibrium behavior. We demonstrate a dynamic equilibrium between complexes, monolayers, and nanocrystals of lead bromide, with substantial impact on the reaction outcomes. This allows us to construct a chemical reaction network that qualitatively explains our results as well as previous reports and can serve as a guide for those seeking to prepare a particular composition and shape.

2.
ACS Nano ; 14(2): 1508-1519, 2020 02 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32053350

RESUMO

Micron-sized lasers fabricated from upconverting nanoparticles (UCNP) coupled to whispering gallery mode (WGM) microresonators can exhibit continuous-wave anti-Stokes lasing useful for tracking cells, environmental sensing, and coherent stimulation of biological activity. The integration of these microlasers into organisms and microelectronics requires even smaller diameters, however, which raises threshold pump powers beyond practical limits for biological applications. To meet the need for low lasing thresholds and high fidelity fabrication methods, we use correlative optical and electron microscopy to uncover the nanoparticle assembly process and structural factors that determine efficient upconverted lasing. We show that 5 µm microspheres with controlled submonolayer UCNP coatings exhibit, on average, 25-fold lower laser thresholds (1.7 ± 0.7 kW/cm2) compared to the mean values of the lowest threshold UCNP lasers, and variability is reduced 30-fold. WGMs are observed in the upconversion spectra for TiO2-coated microspheres as small as 3 µm, a size at which optical losses had previously prevented such observations. Finally, we demonstrate that the WGM signatures of these upconverting microlasers can be imaged and distinguished through tissue-mimicking phantoms. These advances will enable the fabrication of more efficient upconverting lasers for imaging, sensing, and actuation in optically complex environments.

3.
Nat Mater ; 18(11): 1172-1176, 2019 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31548631

RESUMO

Miniaturized lasers are an emerging platform for generating coherent light for quantum photonics, in vivo cellular imaging, solid-state lighting and fast three-dimensional sensing in smartphones1-3. Continuous-wave lasing at room temperature is critical for integration with opto-electronic devices and optimal modulation of optical interactions4,5. Plasmonic nanocavities integrated with gain can generate coherent light at subwavelength scales6-9, beyond the diffraction limit that constrains mode volumes in dielectric cavities such as semiconducting nanowires10,11. However, insufficient gain with respect to losses and thermal instabilities in nanocavities has limited all nanoscale lasers to pulsed pump sources and/or low-temperature operation6-9,12-15. Here, we show continuous-wave upconverting lasing at room temperature with record-low thresholds and high photostability from subwavelength plasmons. We achieve selective, single-mode lasing from Yb3+/Er3+-co-doped upconverting nanoparticles conformally coated on Ag nanopillar arrays that support a single, sharp lattice plasmon cavity mode and greater than wavelength λ/20 field confinement in the vertical dimension. The intense electromagnetic near-fields localized in the vicinity of the nanopillars result in a threshold of 70 W cm-2, orders of magnitude lower than other small lasers. Our plasmon-nanoarray upconverting lasers provide directional, ultra-stable output at visible frequencies under near-infrared pumping, even after six hours of constant operation, which offers prospects in previously unrealizable applications of coherent nanoscale light.


Assuntos
Lasers , Nanotecnologia , Fenômenos Ópticos , Fótons , Temperatura
4.
Chem Sci ; 10(26): 6539-6552, 2019 Jul 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31367306

RESUMO

We report a method to control the composition and microstructure of CdSe1-x S x nanocrystals by the simultaneous injection of sulfide and selenide precursors into a solution of cadmium oleate and oleic acid at 240 °C. Pairs of substituted thio- and selenoureas were selected from a library of compounds with conversion reaction reactivity exponents (k E) spanning 1.3 × 10-5 s-1 to 2.0 × 10-1 s-1. Depending on the relative reactivity (k Se/k S), core/shell and alloyed architectures were obtained. Growth of a thick outer CdS shell using a syringe pump method provides gram quantities of brightly photoluminescent quantum dots (PLQY = 67 to 90%) in a single reaction vessel. Kinetics simulations predict that relative precursor reactivity ratios of less than 10 result in alloyed compositions, while larger reactivity differences lead to abrupt interfaces. CdSe1-x S x alloys (k Se/k S = 2.4) display two longitudinal optical phonon modes with composition dependent frequencies characteristic of the alloy microstructure. When one precursor is more reactive than the other, its conversion reactivity and mole fraction control the number of nuclei, the final nanocrystal size at full conversion, and the elemental composition. The utility of controlled reactivity for adjusting alloy microstructure is discussed.

5.
Nature ; 570(7761): 358-362, 2019 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31217599

RESUMO

The ability to manipulate the twisting topology of van der Waals structures offers a new degree of freedom through which to tailor their electrical and optical properties. The twist angle strongly affects the electronic states, excitons and phonons of the twisted structures through interlayer coupling, giving rise to exotic optical, electric and spintronic behaviours1-5. In twisted bilayer graphene, at certain twist angles, long-range periodicity associated with moiré patterns introduces flat electronic bands and highly localized electronic states, resulting in Mott insulating behaviour and superconductivity3,4. Theoretical studies suggest that these twist-induced phenomena are common to layered materials such as transition-metal dichalcogenides and black phosphorus6,7. Twisted van der Waals structures are usually created using a transfer-stacking method, but this method cannot be used for materials with relatively strong interlayer binding. Facile bottom-up growth methods could provide an alternative means to create twisted van der Waals structures. Here we demonstrate that the Eshelby twist, which is associated with a screw dislocation (a chiral topological defect), can drive the formation of such structures on scales ranging from the nanoscale to the mesoscale. In the synthesis, axial screw dislocations are first introduced into nanowires growing along the stacking direction, yielding van der Waals nanostructures with continuous twisting in which the total twist rates are defined by the radii of the nanowires. Further radial growth of those twisted nanowires that are attached to the substrate leads to an increase in elastic energy, as the total twist rate is fixed by the substrate. The stored elastic energy can be reduced by accommodating the fixed twist rate in a series of discrete jumps. This yields mesoscale twisting structures consisting of a helical assembly of nanoplates demarcated by atomically sharp interfaces with a range of twist angles. We further show that the twisting topology can be tailored by controlling the radial size of the structure.

6.
Nat Nanotechnol ; 14(5): 420-425, 2019 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30833691

RESUMO

Electron microscopy has been instrumental in our understanding of complex biological systems. Although electron microscopy reveals cellular morphology with nanoscale resolution, it does not provide information on the location of different types of proteins. An electron-microscopy-based bioimaging technology capable of localizing individual proteins and resolving protein-protein interactions with respect to cellular ultrastructure would provide important insights into the molecular biology of a cell. Here, we synthesize small lanthanide-doped nanoparticles and measure the absolute photon emission rate of individual nanoparticles resulting from a given electron excitation flux (cathodoluminescence). Our results suggest that the optimization of nanoparticle composition, synthesis protocols and electron imaging conditions can lead to sub-20-nm nanolabels that would enable high signal-to-noise localization of individual biomolecules within a cellular context. In ensemble measurements, these labels exhibit narrow spectra of nine distinct colours, so the imaging of biomolecules in a multicolour electron microscopy modality may be possible.


Assuntos
Corantes Fluorescentes/química , Microscopia Eletrônica de Transmissão , Nanopartículas/química
7.
Nano Lett ; 19(3): 1788-1795, 2019 03 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30741548

RESUMO

Two dimensional (2D) materials have found various applications because of their unique physical properties. For example, graphene has been used as the electron transparent membrane for liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (TEM) due to its high mechanical strength and flexibility, single-atom thickness, chemical inertness, etc. Here, we report using 2D MoS2 as a functional substrate as well as the membrane window for liquid cell TEM, which is enabled by our facile and polymer-free MoS2 transfer process. This provides the opportunity to investigate the growth of Pt nanocrystals on MoS2 substrates, which elucidates the formation mechanisms of such heterostructured 2D materials. We find that Pt nanocrystals formed in MoS2 liquid cells have a strong tendency to align their crystal lattice with that of MoS2, suggesting a van der Waals epitaxial relationship. Importantly, we can study its impact on the kinetics of the nanocrystal formation. The development of MoS2 liquid cells will allow further study of various liquid phenomena on MoS2, and the polymer-free MoS2 transfer process will be implemented in a wide range of applications.

8.
Micron ; 116: 22-29, 2019 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30265880

RESUMO

Recent advances in graphene liquid cells for in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) have opened many opportunities for the study of materials transformations and chemical reactions in liquids with high spatial resolution. However, the behavior of thin liquids encapsulated in a graphene liquid cell has not been fully understood. Here, we report real time TEM imaging of the nanoscale dynamic behavior of liquids in graphene nanocapillaries. Our observations reveal that the interfaces between liquid and gas bubble can fluctuate, leading to the generation of liquid nanodroplets near the interfaces. Liquid nanodroplets often show irregular shape with dynamic changes of their configuration under the electron beam. We consider that the dynamic motion of liquid-gas interfaces might be introduced by the electrostatic energy from transiently charged interfaces. We find that improving the wettability of graphene liquid cells by ultraviolet-ozone treatment can significantly modify the dynamic motion of the encapsulated liquids. Our study provides valuable information of the interactions between liquid and graphene under the electron beam, and it also offers key insights on the nanoscale fluid dynamics in confined spaces.

9.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 4907, 2018 11 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30464256

RESUMO

Individual luminescent nanoparticles enable thermometry with sub-diffraction limited spatial resolution, but potential self-heating effects from high single-particle excitation intensities remain largely uninvestigated because thermal models predict negligible self-heating. Here, we report that the common "ratiometric" thermometry signal of individual NaYF4:Yb3+,Er3+ nanoparticles unexpectedly increases with excitation intensity, implying a temperature rise over 50 K if interpreted as thermal. Luminescence lifetime thermometry, which we demonstrate for the first time using individual NaYF4:Yb3+,Er3+ nanoparticles, indicates a similar temperature rise. To resolve this apparent contradiction between model and experiment, we systematically vary the nanoparticle's thermal environment: the substrate thermal conductivity, nanoparticle-substrate contact resistance, and nanoparticle size. The apparent self-heating remains unchanged, demonstrating that this effect is an artifact, not a real temperature rise. Using rate equation modeling, we show that this artifact results from increased radiative and non-radiative relaxation from higher-lying Er3+ energy levels. This study has important implications for single-particle thermometry.

10.
Nano Lett ; 18(10): 6427-6433, 2018 10 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30256644

RESUMO

Formation mechanisms of dendrite structures have been extensively explored theoretically, and many theoretical predictions have been validated for micro- or macroscale dendrites. However, it is challenging to determine whether classical dendrite growth theories are applicable at the nanoscale due to the lack of detailed information on the nanodendrite growth dynamics. Here, we study iron oxide nanodendrite formation using liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We observe "seaweed"-like iron oxide nanodendrites growing predominantly in two dimensions on the membrane of a liquid cell. By tracking the trajectories of their morphology development with high spatial and temporal resolution, it is possible to explore the relationship between the tip curvature and growth rate, tip splitting mechanisms, and the effects of precursor diffusion and depletion on the morphology evolution. We show that the growth of iron oxide nanodendrites is remarkably consistent with the existing theoretical predictions on dendritic morphology evolution during growth, despite occurring at the nanoscale.

11.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 3082, 2018 08 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30082844

RESUMO

Multiphoton imaging techniques that convert low-energy excitation to higher energy emission are widely used to improve signal over background, reduce scatter, and limit photodamage. Lanthanide-doped upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) are among the most efficient multiphoton probes, but even UCNPs with optimized lanthanide dopant levels require laser intensities that may be problematic. Here, we develop protein-sized, alloyed UCNPs (aUCNPs) that can be imaged individually at laser intensities >300-fold lower than needed for comparably sized doped UCNPs. Using single UCNP characterization and kinetic modeling, we find that addition of inert shells changes optimal lanthanide content from Yb3+, Er3+-doped NaYF4 nanocrystals to fully alloyed compositions. At high levels, emitter Er3+ ions can adopt a second role to enhance aUCNP absorption cross-section by desaturating sensitizer Yb3+ or by absorbing photons directly. Core/shell aUCNPs 12 nm in total diameter can be imaged through deep tissue in live mice using a laser intensity of 0.1 W cm-2.

12.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 2998, 2018 07 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30065278

RESUMO

The growing interest in two-dimensional imine-based covalent organic frameworks (COFs) is inspired by their crystalline porous structures and the potential for extensive π-electron delocalization. The intrinsic reversibility and strong polarization of imine linkages, however, leads to insufficient chemical stability and optoelectronic properties. Developing COFs with improved robustness and π-delocalization is highly desirable but remains an unsettled challenge. Here we report a facile strategy that transforms imine-linked COFs into ultrastable porous aromatic frameworks by kinetically fixing the reversible imine linkage via an aza-Diels-Alder cycloaddition reaction. The as-formed, quinoline-linked COFs not only retain crystallinity and porosity, but also display dramatically enhanced chemical stability over their imine-based COF precursors, rendering them among the most robust COFs up-to-date that can withstand strong acidic, basic and redox environment. Owing to the chemical diversity of the cycloaddition reaction and structural tunability of COFs, the pores of COFs can be readily engineered to realize pre-designed surface functionality.

13.
Nat Nanotechnol ; 13(7): 572-577, 2018 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29915271

RESUMO

Reducing the size of lasers to microscale dimensions enables new technologies1 that are specifically tailored for operation in confined spaces ranging from ultra-high-speed microprocessors2 to live brain tissue3. However, reduced cavity sizes increase optical losses and require greater input powers to reach lasing thresholds. Multiphoton-pumped lasers4-7 that have been miniaturized using nanomaterials such as lanthanide-doped upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs)8 as lasing media require high pump intensities to achieve ultraviolet and visible emission and therefore operate under pulsed excitation schemes. Here, we make use of the recently described energy-looping excitation mechanism in Tm3+-doped UCNPs9 to achieve continuous-wave upconverted lasing action in stand-alone microcavities at excitation fluences as low as 14 kW cm-2. Continuous-wave lasing is uninterrupted, maximizing signal and enabling modulation of optical interactions10. By coupling energy-looping nanoparticles to whispering-gallery modes of polystyrene microspheres, we induce stable lasing for more than 5 h at blue and near-infrared wavelengths simultaneously. These microcavities are excited in the biologically transmissive second near-infrared (NIR-II) window and are small enough to be embedded in organisms, tissues or devices. The ability to produce continuous-wave lasing in microcavities immersed in blood serum highlights practical applications of these microscale lasers for sensing and illumination in complex biological environments.


Assuntos
Lasers , Nanopartículas/química , Nanotecnologia/instrumentação , Túlio/química , Animais , Bovinos , Desenho de Equipamento , Luz , Substâncias Luminescentes/química , Microesferas , Poliestirenos/química , Soro/química
14.
Nano Lett ; 18(6): 3502-3508, 2018 06 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29719146

RESUMO

Replacing lead in halide perovskites is of great interest due to concerns about stability and toxicity. Recently, lead free double perovskites in which the unit cell is doubled and two divalent lead cations are substituted by a combination of mono- and trivalent cations have been synthesized as bulk single crystals and as thin films. Here, we study stability and optical properties of all-inorganic cesium silver(I) bismuth(III) chloride and bromide nanocrystals with the double perovskite crystal structure. The cube-shaped nanocrystals are monodisperse in size with typical side lengths of 8 to 15 nm. The absorption spectrum of the nanocrystals presents a sharp peak, which we assign to a direct bismuth s-p transition and not to a quantum confined excitonic transition. Using this spectroscopic handle combined with high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) based elemental analysis, we conduct stoichiometric studies at the single nanocrystal level as well as decomposition assays in solution and observe that Ag+ diffusion and coalescence is one of the pathways by which this material degrades. Drying the nanocrystals leads to self-assembly into ordered nanocrystal solids, and these exhibit less degradation than nanocrystals in solution. Our results demonstrate that Cs2AgBiX6 (X = Cl, Br) nanocrystals are a useful model system to study structure-function relationships in the search for stable nontoxic halide perovskites.

15.
Chem Sci ; 9(15): 3729-3741, 2018 Apr 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29780505

RESUMO

Nitric oxide (NO) holds great promise as a treatment for cancer hypoxia, if its concentration and localization can be precisely controlled. Here, we report a "Trojan Horse" strategy to provide the necessary spatial, temporal, and dosage control of such drug-delivery therapies at targeted tissues. Described is a unique package consisting of (1) a manganese-nitrosyl complex, which is a photoactivated NO-releasing moiety (photoNORM), plus Nd3+-doped upconverting nanoparticles (Nd-UCNPs) incorporated into (2) biodegradable polymer microparticles that are taken up by (3) bone-marrow derived murine macrophages. Both the photoNORM [Mn(NO)dpaqNO2 ]BPh4(dpaqNO2 = 2-[N,N-bis(pyridin-2-yl-methyl)]-amino-N'-5-nitro-quinolin-8-yl-acetamido) and the Nd-UCNPs are activated by tissue-penetrating near-infrared (NIR) light at ∼800 nm. Thus, simultaneous therapeutic NO delivery and photoluminescence (PL) imaging can be achieved with a NIR diode laser source. The loaded microparticles are non-toxic to their macrophage hosts in the absence of light. The microparticle-carrying macrophages deeply penetrate into NIH-3T3/4T1 tumor spheroid models, and when the infiltrated spheroids are irradiated with NIR light, NO is released in quantifiable amounts while emission from the Nd-UCNPs provides images of microparticle location. Furthermore, varying the intensity of the NIR excitation allows photochemical control over NO release. Low doses reduce levels of hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) in the tumor cells, while high doses are cytotoxic. The use of macrophages to carry microparticles with a NIR photo-activated theranostic payload into a tumor overcomes challenges often faced with therapeutic administration of NO and offers the potential of multiple treatment strategies with a single system.

16.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 1455, 2018 04 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29654301

RESUMO

The field of valleytronics has promised greater control of electronic and spintronic systems with an additional valley degree of freedom. However, conventional and two-dimensional valleytronic systems pose practical challenges in the utilization of this valley degree of freedom. Here we show experimental evidences of the valley effect in a bulk, ambient, and bias-free model system of Tin(II) sulfide. We elucidate the direct access and identification of different sets of valleys, based primarily on the selectivity in absorption and emission of linearly polarized light by optical reflection/transmission and photoluminescence measurements, and demonstrate strong optical dichroic anisotropy of up to 600% and nominal polarization degrees of up to 96% for the two valleys with band-gap values 1.28 and 1.48 eV, respectively; the ease of valley selection further manifested in their non-degenerate nature. Such discovery enables a new platform for better access and control of valley polarization.

17.
Biomed Opt Express ; 9(9): 4359-4371, 2018 Sep 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30615722

RESUMO

Optical methods for imaging and stimulation of biological events based on the use of visible light are limited to the superficial layers of tissue due to the significant absorption and scattering of light. Here, we demonstrate the design and implementation of passive micro-structured lightbulbs (MLBs) containing bright-emitting lanthanide-doped upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) for light delivery deep into the tissue. The MLBs are realized as cylindrical pillars made of Parylene C polymer that can be implanted deep into the tissue. The encapsulated UCNPs absorb near-infrared (NIR) light at λ = 980 nm, which undergoes much less absorption than the blue light in the brain tissue, and then locally emit blue light (1G4→3H6 and 1D2→3F4 transitions) that can be used for optogenetic excitation of neurons in the brain. The 3H4→3H6 transition will result in the emission of higher energy NIR photons at λ = 800 nm that can be used for imaging and tracking MLBs through thick tissue.

18.
Bioconjug Chem ; 28(11): 2707-2714, 2017 11 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28945361

RESUMO

We report the fabrication of aqueous multimodal imaging nanocomposites based on superparamagnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and two different sizes of photoluminescent upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs). The controlled and simultaneous incorporation of both types of nanoparticles (NPs) was obtained by controlling the solvent composition and the addition rate of the destabilizing solvent. The magnetic properties of the MNPs remained unaltered after their encapsulation into the polymeric beads as shown by the T2 relaxivity measurements. The UCNPs maintain photoluminescent properties even when embedded with the MNPs into the polymer bead. Moreover, the light emitted by the magnetic and upconverting nanobeads (MUCNBs) under NIR excitation (λexc = 980 nm) was clearly observed through different thicknesses of agarose gel or through a mouse skin layer. The comparison with magnetic and luminescent nanobeads based on red-emitting quantum dots (QDs) demonstrated that while the QD-based beads show significant autofluorescence background from the skin, the signal obtained by the MUCNBs allows a decrease in this background. In summary, these results indicate that MUCNBs are good magnetic and optical probes for in vivo multimodal imaging sensors.


Assuntos
Substâncias Luminescentes/química , Nanopartículas de Magnetita/química , Nanopartículas/química , Imagem Óptica/métodos , Animais , Linhagem Celular Tumoral , Células HeLa , Humanos , Camundongos , Microscopia Confocal/métodos , Microscopia de Fluorescência/métodos , Imagem Multimodal , Pontos Quânticos/química , Pele/diagnóstico por imagem
19.
J Am Chem Soc ; 139(8): 3275-3282, 2017 03 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28169535

RESUMO

Luminescence quenching at high dopant concentrations generally limits the dopant concentration to less than 1-5 mol% in lanthanide-doped materials, and this remains a major obstacle in designing materials with enhanced efficiency/brightness. In this work, we provide direct evidence that the major quenching process at high dopant concentrations is the energy migration to the surface (i.e., surface quenching) as opposed to the common misconception of cross-relaxation between dopant ions. We show that after an inert epitaxial shell growth, erbium (Er3+) concentrations as high as 100 mol% in NaY(Er)F4/NaLuF4 core/shell nanocrystals enhance the emission intensity of both upconversion and downshifted luminescence across different excitation wavelengths (980, 800, and 658 nm), with negligible concentration quenching effects. Our results highlight the strong coupling of concentration and surface quenching effects in colloidal lanthanide-doped nanocrystals, and that inert epitaxial shell growth can overcome concentration quenching. These fundamental insights into the photophysical processes in heavily doped nanocrystals will give rise to enhanced properties not previously thought possible with compositions optimized in bulk.


Assuntos
Elementos da Série dos Lantanídeos/química , Luminescência , Nanopartículas/química , Termodinâmica , Tamanho da Partícula , Propriedades de Superfície
20.
Nano Lett ; 16(11): 7241-7247, 2016 11 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27726405

RESUMO

Lanthanide-doped nanocrystals are of particular interest for the research community not only due to their ability to shape light by downshifting, quantum cutting, and upconversion but also because novel optical properties can be found by the precise engineering of core-shell nanocrystals. Because of the large surface area-to-volume ratio of nanocrystals, the luminescence is typically suppressed by surface quenching. Here, we demonstrate a mechanism that exploits surface quenching processes to improve the luminescence of our core-shell lanthanide-doped nanocrystals. By carefully tuning the shell thickness of inert ß-NaLuF4 around ß-NaYF4 nanocrystals doped with Yb3+ and Er3+, we unravel the relationship between quantum yield and shell thickness, and quantify surface quenching rates for the relevant Er3+ and Yb3+ energy levels. This enhanced understanding of the system's dynamics allowed us to design nanocrystals with a surface quenching-assisted mechanism for bright NIR to NIR downshifting with a distinctive efficiency peak for an optimized shell thickness.

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