Photochemical Characterization of Up-Converting Inorganic Lanthanide Phosphors as Potential Labels
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- Soukka, T., Kuningas, K., Rantanen, T. et al. J Fluoresc (2005) 15: 513. doi:10.1007/s10895-005-2825-7
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We have characterized commercially available up-converting inorganic lanthanide phosphors for their rare earth composition and photoluminescence properties under infrared laser diode excitation. These up-converting phosphors, in contrast to proprietary materials reported earlier, are readily available to be utilized as particulate reporters in various ligand binding assays after grinding to submicron particle size. The laser power density required at 980 nm to generate anti-Stokes photoluminescence from these particulate reporters is significantly lower than required for two-photon excitation. The narrow photoluminescence emission bands at 520–550 nm and at 650–670 nm are at shorter wavelengths and thus totally discriminated from autofluorescence and scattered excitation light even without temporal resolution. Transparent solution of colloidal bead-milled up-converting phosphor nanoparticles provides intense green emission visible to the human eye under illumination by an infrared laser pointer. In this article, we show that the unique photoluminescence properties of the up-converting phosphors and the inexpensive measurement configuration, which is adequate for their sensitive detection, render the up-conversion an attractive alternative to the ultraviolet-excited time-resolved fluorescence of down-converting lanthanide compounds widely employed in biomedical research and diagnostics.