Next Article in Journal
Optimizing SOI Slot Waveguide Fabrication Tolerances and Strip-Slot Coupling for Very Efficient Optical Sensing
Previous Article in Journal
Development of an Integrated Chip for Automatic Tracking and Positioning Manipulation for Single Cell Lysis
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Sensors 2012, 12(3), 2414-2435;

Upconversion Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Mechanism, and Applications in Sensing

Department of Chemistry, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 January 2012 / Revised: 13 February 2012 / Accepted: 21 February 2012 / Published: 23 February 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
PDF [951 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sensors EISSN 1424-8220 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top