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Nanomaterials 2015, 5(1), 1-25;

Rare Earth Ion-Doped Upconversion Nanocrystals: Synthesis and Surface Modification

Key Laboratory of Flexible Electronics (KLOFE) and Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Jiangsu National Synergistic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM), Nanjing Tech University (NanjingTech), Nanjing 211816, China
Key Laboratory for Organic Electronics and Information Displays and Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), National Synergistic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM), Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing 210023, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas Nann
Received: 3 November 2014 / Accepted: 10 December 2014 / Published: 25 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Up-Converting Nanoparticles)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1361 KB, uploaded 25 December 2014]   |  


The unique luminescent properties exhibited by rare earth ion-doped upconversion nanocrystals (UCNPs), such as long lifetime, narrow emission line, high color purity, and high resistance to photobleaching, have made them widely used in many areas, including but not limited to high-resolution displays, new-generation information technology, optical communication, bioimaging, and therapy. However, the inherent upconversion luminescent properties of UCNPs are influenced by various parameters, including the size, shape, crystal structure, and chemical composition of the UCNPs, and even the chosen synthesis process and the surfactant molecules used. This review will provide a complete summary on the synthesis methods and the surface modification strategies of UCNPs reported so far. Firstly, we summarize the synthesis methodologies developed in the past decades, such as thermal decomposition, thermal coprecipitation, hydro/solvothermal, sol-gel, combustion, and microwave synthesis. In the second part, five main streams of surface modification strategies for converting hydrophobic UCNPs into hydrophilic ones are elaborated. Finally, we consider the likely directions of the future development and challenges of the synthesis and surface modification, such as the large-scale production and actual applications, stability, and so on, of the UCNPs. View Full-Text
Keywords: rare earth; nanocrystal; upconversion; synthesis; surface modification rare earth; nanocrystal; upconversion; synthesis; surface modification

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chang, H.; Xie, J.; Zhao, B.; Liu, B.; Xu, S.; Ren, N.; Xie, X.; Huang, L.; Huang, W. Rare Earth Ion-Doped Upconversion Nanocrystals: Synthesis and Surface Modification. Nanomaterials 2015, 5, 1-25.

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