Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Simultaneous enhancement of red upconversion luminescence and CT contrast of NaGdF4:Yb,Er nanoparticles via Lu3+ doping


To date, lanthanide-doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) have been widely reported as a promising CT contrast agent because they have large atomic numbers and big X-ray attenuation coefficient values. However, it is still a challenge to fabricate a simple multimodal imaging probe with improved image quality for early cancer diagnosis in clinical medicine. Herein, the ultra-small, uniform and monodisperse β-NaGdF4:Yb,Er,X%Lu (X = 0, 1, 2.5, 4, 6, 7.5) UCNPs were prepared through a solvothermal method for simultaneously controlling the same phase and morphology. Meanwhile, the remarkably enhanced red upconversion luminescence (UCL) in the β-NaGdF4:Yb,Er,X%Lu NPs was successfully realized via Lu3+ doping. It is found that as the content of Lu3+ increases from 0 to 7.5 mol%, the UCL intensity of red emission first increases and then decreases, with the optimum doping content of Lu3+ ions at 2.5 mol%. The red UCL enhancement is ascribed to the change of the Yb-Er interionic distance controlling the Yb-Er energy transfer rate and the distortion of the local environment of Er3+ ion conducting the 4f-4f transition rates of Er3+ ion, which have been further confirmed by the experimental check of the crystallagrapic phase and the photoluminescence spectroscopy by employing Eu3+ as the structural probe, respectively. More importantly, after being modified with HS-PEG2000-NH2 ligand, the NH2-PEGylated-NaGdF4:Yb,Er,X%Lu NPs exhibited low cytotoxicity, high biocompatibility, and remarkably enhanced contrast performance in vitro UCL and in vivo CT imaging. On the basis of our findings, the as-obtained functionalized UCNPs could be considered as a promising versatile dual-mode imaging probe for bioimaging, tumor diagnosis, and cancer therapy.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 28 Aug 2018, accepted on 02 Oct 2018 and first published on 03 Oct 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR06968A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    Simultaneous enhancement of red upconversion luminescence and CT contrast of NaGdF4:Yb,Er nanoparticles via Lu3+ doping

    M. Liu, Z. Shi, X. Wang, Y. Zhang, X. Mo, R. Jiang, Z. Liu, L. Fan, C. Ma and F. Shi, Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR06968A

Search articles by author