Upconversion luminescence behavior of single nanoparticles

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Journal Article
Nanoscale, 2015, 7 (37), pp. 15026 - 15036
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© 2015 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) have made a significant and valuable contribution to materials science, photophysics, and biomedicine due to their specific spectroscopic characteristics. However, the ensemble spectroscopy of UCNPs is limited because of the electronic behavior in average effect, which ignores the fact that these nanoparticles are heterogeneous. With regards to the research focus on heterogeneous intrinsic structures, unique photophysical phenomena, and advanced applications, the optical characterization of single UCNPs have been promoted to the frontier development of the UCNPs community. In this review, we give an overview of the importance of single UCNPs characterization, typical principles of UC, and single particle detection methods. Considerable emphasis is placed on the specific spectroscopic study of single UCNPs, which shows fantastic photophysical phenomena beyond ensemble measurement. Parallel efforts are devoted to the current applications of single UCNPs.
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