Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in fluorescent and upconverting rare earth-based nanoparticles for biomedical imaging and photodynamic therapy applications. While many of the widely explored upconverting contrast agents are comprised of fluoride or oxide crystal structures, very little work has been done to investigate the up- and downconversion emission in rare earth-doped carbon nanocomposites. Of particular interest, graphene-UCNP nanocomposites and sesquicarbide nanoparticles may offer a wide range of new applications when coupled with the extraordinary optical properties of rare earth-doped systems, such as potential use as nano-transducers. Carbon-based nanocomposites and sesquicarbides doped with rare earth elements were synthesized using the microwave and solvothermal methods with additional brief high temperature heat treatments. They were then characterized by XRD, visible and NIR excitation and emission spectroscopy, as well as Raman spectrsocopy. Tuning of the emission manifold ratios was explored through different compositions and size. Also, energy transfer between the emitting ions and the electronic states of the host structure was explored. Finally, cytotoxicity was tested, and cellular uptake of these nanomaterials was performed with confocal microscopy.
Brian G. Yust, Mircea Chipara, and Aaron Saenz, "Synthesis and energy transfer within carbon-based fluorescent rare earth nanoparticles and nanocomposites
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9723, Reporters, Markers, Dyes, Nanoparticles, and Molecular Probes for Biomedical Applications VIII, 97230R (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 17, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213284.4848770184001.
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