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Chemical and biological sensors based on upconversion nanoparticles: from surface functionalization to devices

Grant number: 22/07233-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2023 - December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics
Convênio/Acordo: DAAD
Principal Investigator:Emanuel Carrilho
Grantee:Emanuel Carrilho
Principal researcher abroad: Bart Jan Ravoo
Institution abroad: University of Munster, Germany
Host Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Emanuel Carrilho ; Natalia Mayumi Inada
Associated research grant:20/05627-5 - Host guest hybrid materials and nanostructured supramolecular systems for photonic and biophotonic applications, AP.R


Rare earth ions doped upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) are luminescent nanomaterials with the ability to convert low energy (infrared) photons into visible and ultraviolet radiation through energy transfer, cooperative and excited state absorption mechanisms. The IR excitation can be done with low-cost diode lasers and provides great advantage to the use of UCNPs in biological applications since the background auto-fluorescence is markedly minimized. For the past ten years, a great interest has risen in the use of the UCNPs in chemical and biological "turn-on/off" and ratiometric sensing devices. To this end, the hexagonal (²)-NaYF4 host stands out as a most efficient one yielding red, green and blue emissions when doped with Er3+ and Tm3+. Through appropriate functionalization, UCNPs can be bond to several molecules to selectively target biomolecules, pesticides, ions, drugs and microorganisms in solution. One promising approach to construct sensitive and selective sensors is to combine the UCNPs with macromolecules such as cyclodextrin (CD), which can be used as hosts for the construction of various supramolecular ensembles. In this project, we intend to combine the expertise and infrastructure of the German and Brazilian research groups to develop highly sensitive and selective sensing platforms which can be transferred to solid substrates (glass, polymers, paper) for the fabrication of lower-cost, portable, discardable or reusable devices. The initiative will strengthen the collaborative research between the Brazilian and German PIs, which has already been initiated in the framework of the FAPESP Regular Project N. 2020/05627-5 and the DFG funded project SFB1459, by providing graduated students and researchers international scientific training, in a most relevant and actual scientific field. The PIs and collaborators will have the opportunity to expand their research networks by interacting with colleagues in USP and WWU (and beyond), and the joint efforts will set the ground for the preparation of future grant proposals such as the SPRINT. (AU)

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