High efficiency upconversion nanophosphors for high-contrast bioimaging. Academic Article uri icon


  • Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) are of interest because they allow suppression of tissue autofluorescence and are therefore visible deep inside biological tissue. Compared to upconversion dyes, UCNPs have a lower pump intensity threshold, better photostability, and less toxicity. Recently, YVO4: Er+3, Yb+3 nanoparticles were shown to exhibit strong up-conversion luminescence with a relatively low 10 kW cm-2 excitation intensity even in water, which makes them excellent bio-imaging candidates. Herein, we investigate their use as internal probes in insects by injecting YVO4 : Er+3, Yb+3 nanoparticles into fire ants as a biological model, and obtain 2D optical images with 980 nm illumination. High-contrast images with high signal-to-noise ratio are observed by detecting the up-conversion fluorescence as the excitation laser is scanned.

published proceedings

  • Nanotechnology

author list (cited authors)

  • Alkahtani, M. H., Alghannam, F. S., Sanchez, C., Gomes, C. L., Liang, H., & Hemmer, P. R.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Alkahtani, Masfer H||Alghannam, Fahad S||Sanchez, Carlos||Gomes, Carmen L||Liang, Hong||Hemmer, Philip R

publication date

  • December 2016