Uniform YF3:Yb,Er up-conversion nanophosphors of various morphologies synthesized in polyol media through an ionic liquid
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- Nuñez, N.O., Quintanilla, M., Cantelar, E. et al. J Nanopart Res (2010) 12: 2553. doi:10.1007/s11051-009-9824-6
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We describe a facile procedure for the synthesis at low temperature (120 °C) of water-dispersible uniform YF3:Yb,Er up-conversion nanophosphors of various morphologies (rhombic and spheroidal) by homogeneous precipitation in polyol solutions containing different lanthanide salts and an ionic liquid (1-butyl, 2-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate) as fluoride source. It is shown that the shape of the obtained nanoparticles is mainly determined by the nature of both, the polyol and the lanthanide precursors, which also affects to their colloidal stability in water suspensions. These morphological differences are explained on the basis of a different mechanism of particle formation. The efficiency of the up-conversion processes in the synthesized rhombic and spheroidal nanoparticles is also comparatively analyzed and the observed differences are justified on the basis of the different impurities incorporated to the nanophosphors during their synthesis process.