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Sensors 2012, 12(3), 2414-2435; doi:10.3390/s120302414

Upconversion Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Mechanism, and Applications in Sensing

Department of Chemistry, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
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Received: 10 January 2012 / Revised: 13 February 2012 / Accepted: 21 February 2012 / Published: 23 February 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Abstract

Upconversion is an optical process that involves the conversion of lower-energy photons into higher-energy photons. It has been extensively studied since mid-1960s and widely applied in optical devices. Over the past decade, high-quality rare earth-doped upconversion nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized with the rapid development of nanotechnology and are becoming more prominent in biological sciences. The synthesis methods are usually phase-based processes, such as thermal decomposition, hydrothermal reaction, and ionic liquids-based synthesis. The main difference between upconversion nanoparticles and other nanomaterials is that they can emit visible light under near infrared irradiation. The near infrared irradiation leads to low autofluorescence, less scattering and absorption, and deep penetration in biological samples. In this review, the synthesis of upconversion nanoparticles and the mechanisms of upconversion process will be discussed, followed by their applications in different areas, especially in the biological field for biosensing. View Full-Text
Keywords: upconversion nanoparticles; biosensing; NIR-radiation upconversion nanoparticles; biosensing; NIR-radiation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chen, J.; Zhao, J.X. Upconversion Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Mechanism, and Applications in Sensing. Sensors 2012, 12, 2414-2435.

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