Fluorescent carbon dots (CDs) are one class of carbon-based nanomaterials that exhibit special photoluminescence properties. The unique properties of CDs, such as biocompatibility, tunable emission wavelength, and cost-effective, synthesis, have aroused intense interest. Conventionally, in the same particle size, the emission wavelength of CDs can be controlled by the graphitization of the monomer precursors. To date, it is still challenging to produce long-wavelength emissive CDs because it requires a higher graphitization degree of precursors. Not many results have been reported for the CDs with the emission wavelength longer than 600 nm (red). In this paper, we report a new type of red emissive CDs with the emission peak at 660 nm under ultraviolet light excitation with 30% quantum yield. Different from the conventional CDs with short Stokes shift, the new CDs exhibit 255 nm Stokes shift. This property will benefit applications of biosensors, solid-state lighting, and electronic displays. Furthermore, the carbon dots can be embedded into UV-curable polymer. With the fast photocuring technology, red emissive polymer pattern can be produced immediately by printing, stamping, or plotting. A red emission microLED was fabricated using CD-embedded polymer to generate a color coordinate at (0.56, 0.42).
We demonstrate a novel optofluidic micropipette device for filter-free fluorescence-based biosensing. The optofluidic micropipette tube composed of a glass capillary microtube and a polymer-based structure designed to load analyte solution using a regular micropipette and serves as an optical waveguide. Ray-tracing simulations suggest that the excitation light can be effectively guided along the glass capillary with a small amount of leakage through the scattering at the solutionair interface. Fluorescence emission of the analyte propagates in the radial direction of the glass capillary which can be efficiently captured by a smartphone camera through a miniaturized objective lens. Fluorescence intensity and spectra were characterized using Rhodamine 6G (R6G) with various concentrations. The emission was collected via a microscope with 5X magnification and a smartphone camera. Both experimental and simulation results suggest that the excitation rays are efficiently coupled into the glass micropipette tube for fluorescence excitation. The fluorescence emissions from the analyte will either pass along the glass tube or propagate in the radial direction collected by the detector. A limited amount of excitation leakage scattered from the liquid-air interface showed a minimal effect on fluorescence detection. We demonstrated the platform that combines the optofluidic micropipette and smartphone camera to detect steroid hormone.
Nanoparticle-based fluorescence DNA/RNA sensing offers promising applications in both research and medical diagnosis due to the ease of surface chemical modification and sample handling, allowing detection in complex media. The performance of the conventional fluorescence biosensors is often limited by the insufficient fluorescence signal. To overcome the disadvantage, we advanced silver-coated magnetic nanoparticles with strong plasmon resonance to enhance the molecular beacon (MB)-based nucleic acid nanosensors. The silver-coated magnetic nanoparticles were chemically synthesized to compose of 20 nm iron oxide magnetic nanoparticle core and 60 nm thick Ag coating, forming iron oxide/Ag core-shell nanoparticles. Fluorescently labeled DNA MBs were immobilized on the Ag surface which serves as the quencher for the closed MBs and provides fluorescence enhancement for the unfolded MBs in the presence of the complementary target sequence. More importantly, the improved Ag shell mitigates the strong optical absorbance in the visible range associated with the magnetic nanoparticles increasing the fluorescence intensity. The detection was performed by dispersing the nanosensors in a 20 μl analyte solution for 10 minutes for accelerated target capture through 3D diffusion and concentrating them magnetically for enhanced fluorescence signal acquisition. The rapid, label-free DNA detection resulted in a detection limit of 10 pM target DNA.
Harnessing more energy from the sun has led to the development of materials which can efficiently trap the sun radiation in the whole spectrum and re-emit it into a narrow spectral band corresponding to the band gap of a photovoltaic device. The field of metamaterials is largely aimed at designing nanostructured surfaces with tailored absorption (emission) spectra. Many rare-earth doped crystals and glasses can efficiently absorb light throughout the whole visible and near-infrared range of the spectrum and emit radiation at longer wavelengths (1.5 to 3 microns). We report studies of absorption and thermal emission of several rare-earth doped crystals.