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A pH-responsive assembly based on upconversion nanocrystals and ultrasmall nickel nanoparticles

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Abstract

We report a hybrid assembly based on NaYF4:Yb3+,Er3+/Tm3+@NaYF4 (core@shell) upconversion nanocrystals and ultrasmall Ni nanoparticles (abbreviated as core@shell@Ni) for rapid response towards pH in different PBS solutions. In this approach, Ni nanoparticles located on the surface of the core@shell upconversion nanocrystal serve as an efficient quencher for upconversion luminescence (UCL). A series of dynamic processes of the 4S3/24I15/2 transition of Er3+ in Er3+-doped core@shell@Ni have been presented in order to discuss the energy transfer mechanisms between UCNPs and Ni nanoparticles. The upconversion luminescence can be recovered by incubating the core@shell@Ni assembly with pH 5.0 PBS that oxidizes Ni to Ni2+, while the UCL could be still quenched when the hybrid assembly was incubated with pH 7.4 PBS. However, the core@shell@Co assembly's response toward pH is not distinguished due to the rapid recovery of emission intensity both in pH 5.0 and 7.4 PBS. The ability of the core@shell@Ni assembly to distinguish different pH values may be a fine platform for the real-time optical monitoring of chemical reactions and many important physiological processes associated with pH.

Graphical abstract: A pH-responsive assembly based on upconversion nanocrystals and ultrasmall nickel nanoparticles

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jun 2017, accepted on 24 Aug 2017 and first published on 25 Aug 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TC02665J
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2017, Advance Article
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    A pH-responsive assembly based on upconversion nanocrystals and ultrasmall nickel nanoparticles

    X. Xu, Y. Long, P. Lei, L. Dong, K. Du, J. Feng and H. Zhang, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7TC02665J

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