Onion-like Nanoparticle May Change the Future of Light-Based Security

First Posted: Nov 11, 2015 05:13 PM EST

A new, onion-like nanoparticle could be huge for biomaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques. The new particle could be huge for future innovations.

The particle's secret lies in its layers. They consist of a coating of organic dye, a neodymium-containing shell, and a core that incorporates ytterbium and thulium. Together, these strata convert invisible near-infrared light to higher energy blue and UV light with record-high efficiency, a trick that could improve the performance of technologies ranging from deep-tissue imaging and light-induced therapy to security inks used for printed money.

"By creating special layers that help transfer energy efficiently from the surface of the particle to the core, which emits blue and UV light, our design helps overcome some of the long-standing obstacles that previous technologies faced," said Guanying Chen, one of the researchers, in a news release.

In order to convert low-energy light to higher energy light, it's necessary to capture two or more photons form a low-energy light source. Then, these photons need to be combined in order to form a single, higher-energy photon. In this case, each of the nanoparticles layers fulfills a unique function in order to accomplish this task.

The new development could be huge for further applications in the future.

The findings are published in the journal Nano Letters.

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