Ultrasensitive Ratiometric Nanothermometer with Large Dynamic Range and Photostability

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Chemistry of Materials, 2019, 31, (22), pp. 9480-9487
Issue Date:
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Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society. Thermally responsive fluorescent nanoparticles can be constructed to allow robust, rapid, and noninvasive temperature measurements. Furthermore, due to their tiny size, they can be used to detect temperature changes at the nanoscale. In this way, such sensors are ideally suited to emerging applications including intracellular temperature sensing and microelectronics failure diagnostics. Despite their potential, current nanothermometers still suffer from limited sensitivity, dynamic range, and stability. By introducing thermal enhanced anti-Stokes emission from a pair of lanthanide ions, ytterbium and neodymium, we show an increase of more than 1 order of magnitude in both the sensitivity and the dynamic range when compared to conventional ytterbium and erbium-codoped nanothermometers. Here, we report heterogeneous temperature-responsive nanoparticles with a new record of sensitivity (9.6%/K at room temperature and above 2.3%/K at elevated temperatures up to 413 K) that can be used for ratiometric thermometry. The heterogeneous nanostructure design shows that the thermal responses can be fine-tuned by the controlled growth of nanoparticles. The stability of the ultrasensitive nanothermometers has enabled long-term noncontact monitoring of local heat dissipation of a microelectronic device.
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