Synthesis and functionalization of biocompatible Tb:CePO4 nanophosphors with spindle-like shape

  • Sonia Rodriguez-Liviano
  • Francisco J. Aparicio
  • Ana I. Becerro
  • Jorge García-Sevillano
  • Eugenio Cantelar
  • Sara Rivera
  • Yulán Hernández
  • Jesus M. de la Fuente
  • Manuel Ocaña
Research Paper


Monoclinic Tb:CePO4 nanophosphors with a spindle-like morphology and tailored size (in the nanometer and micrometer range) have been prepared through a very simple procedure, which consists of aging, at low temperature (120 °C), ethylene glycol solutions containing only cerium and terbium acetylacetonates and phosphoric acid, not requiring the addition of surfactants or capping agents. The influence of the heating mode (conventional convection oven or microwave oven) and the Tb doping level on the luminescent, structural and morphological features of the precipitated nanoparticles have also been analyzed. This study showed that microwave-assisted heating resulted in an important beneficial effect on the luminescent properties of these nanophosphors. Finally, a procedure for the functionalization of the Tb:CePO4 nanoparticles with aspartic-dextran is also reported. The functionalized nanospindles presented negligible toxicity for Verocells, which along with theirs excellent luminescent properties, make them suitable for biomedical applications.


Nanoparticles Cerium phosphate Terbium Luminescence Functionalization Aspartic-dextran 



This work was supported by Junta de Andalucía (Grant FQM6090), the Spanish CICYT (Grant MAT2011-23593) and ERC-Sarting Grant NANOPUZZLE. S. R. Liviano wants to thank the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología for an FPI fellowship. J.M.F. wants to thank ARAID for financial support. Authors thank V. Grazu for fruitful discussion and I. Echaniz for technical support.

Supplementary material

11051_2012_1402_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1,148 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Rodriguez-Liviano
    • 1
  • Francisco J. Aparicio
    • 1
  • Ana I. Becerro
    • 1
  • Jorge García-Sevillano
    • 3
  • Eugenio Cantelar
    • 3
  • Sara Rivera
    • 2
  • Yulán Hernández
    • 2
  • Jesus M. de la Fuente
    • 2
  • Manuel Ocaña
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla (CSIC-US)SevillaSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Nanociencia de AragonUniversidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Dpto. Física de MaterialesC-04. Universidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

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