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Nano Lett. 2007 Mar;7(3):847-52. Epub 2007 Feb 16.

Synthesis of colloidal upconverting NaYF4: Er3+/Yb3+ and Tm3+/Yb3+ monodisperse nanocrystals.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec H4B 1R6, Canada.


The synthesis, characterization, and spectroscopy of upconverting lanthanide-doped NaYF4 nanocrystals (NCs) is presented. The monodisperse cubic NaYF4 NCs were synthesized via a thermal decomposition reaction of trifluoroacetate precusors in a mixture of technical grade chemicals, octadecene and the coordinating ligand oleic acid. In this straightforward method, the dissolved precursors are added slowly to the reaction solution through a stainless-steel canula resulting in highly luminescent nanocrystals with an almost monodisperse particle size distribution. The NCs were characterized through the use of transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction, 1H NMR, powder X-ray diffraction, and high-resolution luminescence spectroscopy. The NaYF4 NCs are capable of being of dispersed in nonpolar organic solvents thus forming colloidally stable solutions. The colloids of the Er3+, Yb3+ and Tm3+, Yb3+ doped NCs exhibit green/red and blue upconversion luminescence, respectively, under 980 nm laser diode excitation with low power densities.

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