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Title: Photostable and efficient upconverting nanocrystal-based chemical sensors

Abstract

Chemical sensing in living systems demands optical sensors that are bright, stable, and sensitive to the rapid dynamics of chemical signaling. Lanthanide-doped upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) efficiently convert near infrared (NIR) light to higher energy emission and allow biological systems to be imaged with no measurable background or photobleaching, and with reduced scatter for subsurface experiments. Despite their advantages as imaging probes, UCNPs have little innate chemical sensing ability and require pairing with organic fluorophores to act as biosensors, although the design of stable UCNP-fluorophore hybrids with efficient upconverted energy transfer (UET) has remained a challenge. Here, we report Yb 3+- and Er 3+-doped UCNP-fluorophore conjugates with UET efficiencies up to 88%, and photostabilities 100-fold greater by UET excitation than those of the free fluorophores under direct excitation. Despite adding distance between Er 3+ donors and organic acceptors, thin inert shells significantly enhance overall emission without compromising UET efficiency. This can be explained by the large increase in quantum yield of Er 3+ donors at the core/shell interface and the large number of fluorophore acceptors at the surface. Sensors excited by UET show increases in photostability well beyond those reported for other methods for increasing the longevity of organic fluorophores, andmore » those covalently attached to UCNP surface polymers show greater chemical stability than those directly coordinated to the nanocrystal surface. Furthermore by conjugating other fluorescent chemosensors to UCNPs, these hybrids may be extended to a series of NIR-responsive biosensors for quantifying the dynamic chemical populations critical for cell signaling.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Scientific User Facilities Division
OSTI Identifier:
1510755
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1544891
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Optical Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 84; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0925-3467
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; Upconverting nanoparticles; Sensors; Fluorescence; Energy transfer; Photostability

Citation Formats

Tajon, Cheryl A., Yang, Hao, Tian, Bining, Tian, Yue, Ercius, Peter, Schuck, P. James, Chan, Emory M., and Cohen, Bruce E. Photostable and efficient upconverting nanocrystal-based chemical sensors. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.optmat.2018.07.031.
Tajon, Cheryl A., Yang, Hao, Tian, Bining, Tian, Yue, Ercius, Peter, Schuck, P. James, Chan, Emory M., & Cohen, Bruce E. Photostable and efficient upconverting nanocrystal-based chemical sensors. United States. doi:10.1016/j.optmat.2018.07.031.
Tajon, Cheryl A., Yang, Hao, Tian, Bining, Tian, Yue, Ercius, Peter, Schuck, P. James, Chan, Emory M., and Cohen, Bruce E. Tue . "Photostable and efficient upconverting nanocrystal-based chemical sensors". United States. doi:10.1016/j.optmat.2018.07.031. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1510755.
@article{osti_1510755,
title = {Photostable and efficient upconverting nanocrystal-based chemical sensors},
author = {Tajon, Cheryl A. and Yang, Hao and Tian, Bining and Tian, Yue and Ercius, Peter and Schuck, P. James and Chan, Emory M. and Cohen, Bruce E.},
abstractNote = {Chemical sensing in living systems demands optical sensors that are bright, stable, and sensitive to the rapid dynamics of chemical signaling. Lanthanide-doped upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) efficiently convert near infrared (NIR) light to higher energy emission and allow biological systems to be imaged with no measurable background or photobleaching, and with reduced scatter for subsurface experiments. Despite their advantages as imaging probes, UCNPs have little innate chemical sensing ability and require pairing with organic fluorophores to act as biosensors, although the design of stable UCNP-fluorophore hybrids with efficient upconverted energy transfer (UET) has remained a challenge. Here, we report Yb3+- and Er3+-doped UCNP-fluorophore conjugates with UET efficiencies up to 88%, and photostabilities 100-fold greater by UET excitation than those of the free fluorophores under direct excitation. Despite adding distance between Er3+ donors and organic acceptors, thin inert shells significantly enhance overall emission without compromising UET efficiency. This can be explained by the large increase in quantum yield of Er3+ donors at the core/shell interface and the large number of fluorophore acceptors at the surface. Sensors excited by UET show increases in photostability well beyond those reported for other methods for increasing the longevity of organic fluorophores, and those covalently attached to UCNP surface polymers show greater chemical stability than those directly coordinated to the nanocrystal surface. Furthermore by conjugating other fluorescent chemosensors to UCNPs, these hybrids may be extended to a series of NIR-responsive biosensors for quantifying the dynamic chemical populations critical for cell signaling.},
doi = {10.1016/j.optmat.2018.07.031},
journal = {Optical Materials},
number = C,
volume = 84,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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