Photon upconversion is a nonlinear process in which the sequential of absorption of two or more photons leads to the anti-stoke emission. Different than the conventional multiphoton excitation process, upconversion can be efficiently performed at low excitation densities. Recent developments in lanthanide-doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) have led to a diversity of applications, including detecting and sensing of biomolecules, imaging of live cells, tissues and animals, cancer diagnostic and therapy, etc. Measuring the upconversion lifetime provides a new dimension of its imaging and opens a new window for its applications. Due to the long metastable intermediate excited state, UCNP typically has a long excited state lifetime ranging from sub-microseconds to milliseconds. Here, we present a novel development using the FastFLIM technique to measure UCNP lifetime by laser scanning confocal microscopy. FastFLIM is capable of measuring lifetime from 100 ps to 100 ms and features the high data collection efficiency (up to 140-million counts per second). Other than the traditional nonlinear least-square fitting analysis, the raw data acquired by FastFLIM can be directly processed by the model-free phasor plots approach for instant and unbiased lifetime results, providing the ideal routine for the UCNP photoluminescence lifetime microscopy imaging.
Yuansheng Sun, Hsien-Ming Lee, Hailin Qiu, Shih-Chu Jeff Liao, Ulas Coskun, and Beniamino Barbieri, "Measuring upconversion nanoparticles photoluminescence lifetime with FastFLIM and phasor plots," Proc. SPIE 10498, Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences XVIII, 104980Q (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2018; Published: 23 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290451.
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