Multicolored and white-light phosphors based on doped GdF < inf> 3 nanoparticles and their potential bio-applications

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Rare-earth-doped gadolinium fluoride nanocrystals were synthesized by a single step synthesis employing ethylene glycol as solvent. Based on X-ray diffraction studies, stabilization of hexagonal modification of GdF 3 has been inferred. The microscopic studies show formation of uniformly distributed nanocrystals (∼15nm). The nanoparticles are readily dispersible in water and show bright luminescence in colloidal solution. The luminescence properties have been investigated as a function of activator concentrations, and enhanced optical properties have been attributed to efficient energy transfer from the Gd 3+ to the activator RE 3+ ions, which has further been confirmed by steady-state and time-resolved optical studies. It has been demonstrated that on doping appropriate amount of activators in host GdF 3, a novel white-light-emitting phosphor is obtained with CIE co-ordinates and correlated color temperature (CCT) very close to broad daylight. This can have promising applications as phosphor for white-light ultraviolet-light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs). Our experiments showed efficient labeling of human breast carcinoma cells (MCF-7) by Tb 3+-doped GdF 3 nanoparticles. The fluorescence intensity was found to be dependent on the surface modifying/coating agent, and the results were validated using confocal microscopy in terms of localization of these functionalized nanoparticles. © 2011 Elsevier Inc..

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Journal of Colloid and Interface Science