The latest issue of ”Nature” features an article about new photon-avalanching nanoparticle materials developed by scientists from Poland, South Korea, and the US. The authors of the paper include Prof. dr hab. inż. Artur Bednarkiewicz from the Institute of Low Temperatures and Structural Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (INTiBS PAN) in Wrocław, and the Polish part of the research project has been funded under the OPUS 16 scheme, with Professor Bednarkiewicz as its principal investigator.
The first and the greatest achievement of the research team is the successful generation of the nanocrystals as such. Normally, lanthanide-doped luminescent materials are limited by what is known as concentration quenching: at dopant concentration levels of more than 1%, their luminescence tends to decrease. The authors of the paper relied on the photon-avalanching mechanism to obtain a spectacular (10,000-fold) increase in luminescence. As presented in the journal, their research opens up brand new avenues for the application of nanotechnology in the construction of biosensors (e.g. to detect viruses, bacteria, fungi, or biological processes in cells and tissues) and physical parameter sensors (e.g. temperature, pressure), as well as for neuromorphic computing, mid-infrared detectors, new nanolasers and sub-diffraction limit imaging.
The research team includes scientists from INTiBS PAN (Poland), Columbia University (USA), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA) and the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (South Korea).
Read the paper here.