Gadolinium-europium carbonate particles: Controlled precipitation for luminescent biolabeling

Séverine Lechevallier*, Pierre Lecante, Robert Mauricot, Hervé Dexpert, Jeannette Dexpert-Ghys, Hoi Kuan Kong, Ga Lai Law, Ka-Leung WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Europium-doped gadolinium carbonates particles have been prepared via urea-assisted precipitation. The reaction has been followed step by step with the investigations of the precipitate by transmission electron microscopy and wide-angle X-ray scattering, in relation with infrared absorption and thermal analyses. It has been observed that spherical particles of (Gd 0.95Eu0.05)(OH)CO3, monodispersed in size and amorphous, precipitate first and then transform to agglomerated platelike crystals of (Gd0.95Eu0.05)2(CO 3)3 2H2O as the precipitation continues. The Eu3+ 5D07FJ emission spectrum and the 5D0 lifetime in the two carbonate matrices have been measured. Selected hydroxycarbonate nanoparticles (NPs), with diameters of 164 ± 20 nm, have been then transformed to oxide NPs having the cubic crystalline structure C-(Gd0.95Eu 0.05)2O3,with the same shape and size. The photoluminescence (PL) properties of hydroxycarbonate and oxide NPs, and of their colloidal suspensions in water, have been investigated. The hydroxycarbonate and the oxide NPs exhibit same PL intensities when excitation is achieved in one of the Eu3+(4f6) levels. Tests of in vitro fluorescence imaging have been performed. The luminescent NPs have been observed after their internalization by human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells. It is concluded that the controlled (urea-assisted) precipitation is appropriate to synthesize Gd(OH)CO3:Eu3+ and Gd2O 3:Eu3+ nanoparticles having adequate characteristics for biolabeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6153-6161
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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