Active-Core–Active-Shell Upconverting Nanoparticles: Novel Mechanisms, Features, and Perspectives for Biolabeling

Authored by: K. Prorok , D. Wawrzy?czyk , M. Misiak , A. Bednarkiewicz

Upconverting Nanomaterials

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498707749
eBook ISBN: 9781315371535
Adobe ISBN:


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The optical properties of lanthanide (Ln3+) ions were recognized many years ago in several important fields of science and technology. Lanthanide-doped crystal, glasses, and fibers have been used as optically active materials for compact solid-state laser crystals (Geusic et al. 1964; Moncorgé et al. 1999; Quarles et al. 1990), fiber lasers (Digonnet 2001), TV tubes or lamp phosphors (Lakshmanan 2008), as well as IR quantum cutters (Esterowitz et al. 1968). The unique optical features of lanthanide-doped nanomaterials arise from the electronic configuration of optically active ions doped into the crystal matrix. The 4f–4f intra-configurational transitions are Laporte forbidden, and simultaneously the electrons at 4f energy levels are shielded by the filled higher orbitals. The consequences of forbidden character of electronic transitions observed in lanthanides are among others: low transition probability, and further long luminescence lifetimes, which vary between micro to milliseconds. These long decays facilitate ultrahigh sensitivity detection, since in time-resolved mode, the background free detection becomes possible. In addition, due to the weak interaction of electrons at 4f orbitals with the crystal field of the host matrix, the absorption and emission lines are very narrow and occur in strictly defined spectral ranges, which on the other hand, enable the engineered design of multicolor emission and further multiplex detection.

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