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In-Situ PolymerizationApproach for Preparation of Rare Earth Fluoride Phosphors Coated with PAA

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Up-conversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), which can convert a radiation from a longer wavelength to a shorter wavelength, have great potential uses as bio-labels in biological detection. However, these NPs usually cannot be used directly unless their surfaces are further modified. In this paper, NaYF4:Yb, Er nanoparticles (NPs) were coated with poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) by in situ polymerization for the first time. Accordingly, NaYF4:Yb, Er/NaYF4 NPs were synthesized before PAA coating to avoid the decay of optical intensity. The resulting UCNPs were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and up-conversion photoluminescence spectrometry. The XRD results indicated that the resultant UCNPs exhibited a pure hexagonal phase. The FT-IR spectra and TGA curves revealed that these NPs were coated successfully with PAA. Meanwhile, the TEM results showed that well-dispersed UCNPs with the best morphology and an average size of about 90 nm were obtained with 8.0 wt% acrylic acid content (the content percentage in the whole reaction system) at 0 °C within 130 min. Fluorescence tests showed that the UCNPs had a strong UC fluorescence intensity. Settlement tests revealed that PAA-coated NaYF4 UCNPs had more favorable dispersion stability than uncoated UCNPs in an aqueous system. These functionalized nanocomposites could be used for further bio-conjugation.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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