Synthesis and characterization of Na(Gd0.5Lu0.5)F4: Nd3+,a core-shell free multifunctional contrast agent.
Compared to conventional core-shell structures, core-shell free nanoparticles with multiple functionalities offer several advantages such as minimal synthetic complexity and low production cost. In this paper, we present the synthesis and characterization of Nd3+ doped Na(Gd0.5Lu0.5)F4 as a core-shell free nanoparticle system with three functionalities. Nanocrystals with 20 nm diameter, high crystallinity and a narrow particle size distributions were synthesized by the solvothermal method and characterized by various analytical techniques to understand their phase and morphology. Fluorescence characteristics under near infrared (NIR) excitation at 808 nm as well as X-ray excitation were studied to explore their potential in NIR optical and X-ray imaging. At 1.0 mol% Nd concentration, we observed a quantum yield of 25% at 1064 nm emission with 13 W/cm2 excitation power density which is sufficiently enough for imaging applications. Under 130 kVp (5 mA) power of X-ray excitation, Nd3+ doped Na(Gd0.5Lu0.5)F4 shows the characteristic emission bands of Gd3+ and Nd3+ with the strongest emission peak at 1064 nm due to Nd3+. Furthermore, magnetization measurements show that the nanocrystals are paramagnetic in nature with a calculated magnetic moment per particle of ~570 μB at 2T. These preliminary results support the suitability of the present nanophosphor as a multimodal contrast agent with three imaging features viz. optical, magnetic and X-ray.
Mimun, LC; Ajithkumar, G; Rightsell, C; Langloss, BW; Therien, MJ; Sardar, DK
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