Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Shining a light on upconversion

By using lanthanide-doped upconversion nanoparticles, fibre-optic sensors can display sensitivities several orders of magnitude greater than those of existing fluorescent techniques.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: An optical fibre coupled to upconversion nanoparticles.


  1. Schartner, E. P., Ebendorff-Heidepriem, H., Warren-Smith, S. C., White, R. T. & Monro, T. M. Sensors 11, 2961–2971 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Wang, F. et al. Nature 463, 1061–1065 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Auzel, F. Chem. Rev. 104, 139–174 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Boyer, J.-C. & van Veggel, F. C. J. M. Nanoscale 2, 1417–1419 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Zhao, J. et al. Nature Nanotech. 8, 729–734 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Yin, A., Zhang, Y., Sun, L. & Yan, C. Nanoscale 2, 953–959 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Liu, H. et al. Nanoscale 5, 4770–4775 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Su, Q. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 20849–20857 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Zhou, B., Lin, H. & Pun, E.-Y. B. Opt. Express 18, 18805–18810 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xiaogang Liu.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Zhang, Y., Liu, X. Shining a light on upconversion. Nature Nanotech 8, 702–703 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Find nanotechnology articles, nanomaterial data and patents all in one place. Visit Nano by Nature Research