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Issue 26, 2020
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Synthesis and optical properties of a Y3(Al/Ga)5O12:Ce3+,Cr3+,Nd3+ persistent luminescence nanophosphor: a promising near-infrared-II nanoprobe for biological applications

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Abstract

Persistent luminescence nanophosphors (PLNPs) emitting in the second near-infrared window (1000–1700 nm, NIR-II) are emerging as one promising class of in vivo bio-imaging agents due to their unique advantages including non-autofluorescence and low optical scattering in tissues. Currently, it remains a great challenge to synthesize nanosized lanthanide-doped inorganic NIR-II phosphors with a good persistent luminescence performance. Herein, we present a salt microemulsion method for synthesizing Ce3+, Cr3+, Nd3+ codoped Y3(Al/Ga)5O12 nanocrystals, which generate multi-wavelength persistent luminescence in the visible (∼508 nm, 5d1 → 4f of Ce3+), the first near-infrared window (∼890 nm, 4F3/24I9/2 of Nd3+) and NIR-II (∼1063 nm, 4F3/24I11/2 of Nd3+) regions. Under illumination of a 410 nm diode (3 W) for 10 min, the observed duration time of NIR-II persistent luminescence is as long as 60 min at room temperature. Moreover, the persistent luminescence can be excited efficiently by multiple excitation sources including a blue diode, white LEDs and an X-ray generator, which is crucial for deep tissue imaging applications. By comparing the penetration depth between NIR-I and NIR-II persistent luminescence through chicken breast, we prove that NIR-II photons exhibit a deeper optical penetration length (3.9 mm) than that of the NIR-I ones (2.5 mm). In addition, the NIR signals can still be detected 3 min after ceasing the excitation source by a small animal imaging system (InGaAs detector) when the thickness of the covering chicken breast is 20 mm. These results show great promise for Y3(Al/Ga)5O12:Ce3+,Cr3+,Nd3+ nanocrystals as a PLNP for bio-imaging applications with deep penetration depth and a high signal-to-noise ratio.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis and optical properties of a Y3(Al/Ga)5O12:Ce3+,Cr3+,Nd3+ persistent luminescence nanophosphor: a promising near-infrared-II nanoprobe for biological applications

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
26 Apr 2020
Accepted
11 Jun 2020
First published
11 Jun 2020

Nanoscale, 2020,12, 14180-14187
Article type
Paper

Synthesis and optical properties of a Y3(Al/Ga)5O12:Ce3+,Cr3+,Nd3+ persistent luminescence nanophosphor: a promising near-infrared-II nanoprobe for biological applications

L. Wu, J. Hu, Q. Zou, Y. Lin, D. Huang, D. Chen, H. Lu and H. Zhu, Nanoscale, 2020, 12, 14180
DOI: 10.1039/D0NR03269G

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