Fixed-diameter upconversion nanorods with controllable length and their interaction with cells
Abstract A series of NaYF 4 : Yb, Er upconversion nanorods with fixed diameter and controllable length were synthesized by the injection of sodium trifluoroacetate (CF 3 COONa) mixed with potassium trifluoroacetate (CF 3 COOK) precursor into a heated solution of ligand. We found that with the increased percentage of CF 3 COOK, the length of resultant nanorods was increased from ∼40 nm to ∼200 nm whilst the diameter was kept in a narrow range of 37–42 nm. The elongation of nanorods was attributed to the specific absorption of sodium oleate on the prismatic facets, and the integration of potassium ions into the lattice as well. We further found that the elongated length affected the relative fluorescence intensity between red and green emission. More importantly, with fixed diameter, the cellular uptake of nanorods was found decreasing with the increase of their length. Meanwhile the decrease of diameter resulted in an increased cellular uptake. These results were attributed to both specific surface area and possibly varied contacting angle between nanorods and cell membrane. The current work not only suggested a synthetic method for the precise control of upconversion nanorods, but also shed light on the design of nanocrystals for cell-related biomedical applications. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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