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Nano Research

Article Title

Silica shell-assisted synthetic route for mono-disperse persistent nanophosphors with enhanced in vivo recharged near-infrared persistent luminescence

Authors

Rui Zou, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Bioinorganic and Synthetic Chemistry, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, KLGHEI of Environment and Energy Chemistry, School of Chemistry, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
Junjian Huang, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Bioinorganic and Synthetic Chemistry, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, KLGHEI of Environment and Energy Chemistry, School of Chemistry, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
Junpeng Shi, Key Lab of Urban Pollutant Conversion, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China;
Lin Huang, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Bioinorganic and Synthetic Chemistry, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, KLGHEI of Environment and Energy Chemistry, School of Chemistry, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
Xuejie Zhang, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Bioinorganic and Synthetic Chemistry, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, KLGHEI of Environment and Energy Chemistry, School of Chemistry, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
Ka-Leung Wong, Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong 999077, China;
Hongwu Zhang, Key Lab of Urban Pollutant Conversion, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China;
Dayong Jin, Institute for Biomedical Materials and Devices (IBMD), Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia;§ These authors contributed equally to this work.
Jing Wang, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Bioinorganic and Synthetic Chemistry, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, KLGHEI of Environment and Energy Chemistry, School of Chemistry, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
Qiang Su, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Bioinorganic and Synthetic Chemistry, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, KLGHEI of Environment and Energy Chemistry, School of Chemistry, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;

Keywords

core-shell structure, in vivo imaging, narrow size distribution, near-infrared (NIR) persistent luminescence, biocompatibility

Abstract

ABSTRACT Near-infrared (NIR) persistent-luminescence nanoparticles have emerged as a new class of background-free contrast agents that are promising for in vivo imaging. The next key roadblock is to establish a robust and controllable method for synthesizing monodisperse nanoparticles with high luminescence brightness and long persistent duration. Herein, we report a synthesis strategy involving the coating/etching of the SiO2 shell to obtain a new class of small NIR highly persistent luminescent ZnGa2O4:Cr3+,Sn4+ (ZGOCS) nanoparticles. The optimized ZGOCS nanoparticles have an excellent size distribution of ~15 nm without any agglomeration and an NIR persistent luminescence that is enhanced by a factor of 13.5, owing to the key role of the SiO2 shell in preventing nanoparticle agglomeration after annealing. The ZGOCS nanoparticles have a signal-to-noise ratio ~3 times higher than that of previously reported ZnGa2O4:Cr3+ (ZGC-1) nanoparticles as an NIR persistent-luminescence probe for in vivo bioimaging. Moreover, the persistent-luminescence signal from the ZGOCS nanoparticles can be repeatedly re-charged in situ with external excitation by a white lightemitting diode; thus, the nanoparticles are suitable for long-term in vivo imaging applications. Our study suggests an improved strategy for fabricating novel high-performance optical nanoparticles with good biocompatibility.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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