Recent advances in lanthanide-doped upconversion nanomaterials: synthesis, nanostructures and surface modification
Owing to their unique photo-physical properties, rare-earth ions-doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) have attracted extensive attention in recent years. UCNPs have many special merits, such as a long luminescence lifetime, narrow emission band widths, high quantum yields and low toxicity, which allows their potential applications in bio-medical field, biological luminescent labels and drug delivery carriers. Compared with traditional fluorescence labels exited by UV (ultraviolet), such as organic dyes and quantum dots, UCNPs can transfer near-infrared (NIR) light into visible light, which is commonly called upconversion luminescence (UCL). This paper reviews the recent advances of several typical synthesis methods of UCNPs in detail as well as the fabrication and optimization of the particle morphology, and the latest advances of UCNPs for multimode imaging, surface passivation and functionalization are also described.