Enhancing Hybrid Upconversion Nanosystems via Synergistic Effects of Moiety Engineered NIR Dyes

Guochen Bao, Shihui Wen, Wanhe Wang, Jiajia Zhou, Shuai Zha, Yongtao Liu, Ka-Leung Wong, Dayong Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Hybrid upconversion nanosystems have been reported to improve the low absorption efficiency of lanthanide-doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs). However, the low quantum yield and poor photostability of NIR dyes pose challenges for practical uses. Here, we introduce a bulky moiety, 4-(1,2,2-triphenylvinyl)-1,1′-biphenyl (TPEO), to enhance its quantum yield by suppressing the bond rotation and improve the stability by deactivating the photoinduced oxidization. Compared with the conventional IR806, the formed NIR dye, TPEO-Cy, has been characterized to deliver three times higher quantum yield and seven times better photostability. Moreover, we take advantage of the strong affinity of sulfonate chains on the TPEO-Cy to bind to the surface of UCNPs. Taking together the synergistic effect, we have achieved a 242-fold upconversion emission enhancement over the benchmark of IR806-sensitized system and an ∼800 000-fold increase than the bare UCNPs. Our design of the NIR dyes suggests a new scope to search for more efficient upconversion nanohybrids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9862-9868
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number23
Early online date15 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2021

User-Defined Keywords

  • upconversion nanoparticles
  • near-infrared dye
  • photostability
  • quantum yield


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