Using low-energy near infrared light and upconverting nanoparticles to trigger photoreactions within supramolecular assemblies
This overview highlights how the high-energy ultraviolet or visible light required to drive photochemical reactions can be overcome by integrating the chromophores into supramolecular structures containing upconverting nanoparticles with trivalent lanthanide dopants (such as Tm3+ and Er3+). These nanoparticles are particularly interesting systems because they absorb multiple photons of near infrared light and convert them into higher-energy light which is emitted in the ultraviolet and visible regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The upconverting nanoparticles effectively act as nanoscopic ‘light bulbs’, and in this way, less damaging near infrared light can be used to trigger photochemical reactions for use in imaging and small molecule release. Several examples of how this phenomenon is being used in photochemistry will be presented with the focus being on self-assembled supramolecular systems, some of which are being used in cells and small animals.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Host–guest chemistry