Synthesis of LiYF4:10%Er3+@LiYF4 (NaYF4:10%Er3+@NaYF4, NaGdF4:10%Er3+@NaGdF4)

The LiYF4:10%Er3+@LiYF4 core-shell nanoparticles are synthesized via a thermal decomposition method. A total of 0.5°mmol of Y2O3 was dissolved in 50% trifluoroacetic acid at 95°C in a three-neck flask. Then, the solutions were evaporated to dryness under an argon gas purge. Next, 10°ml of oleic acid, 10°ml of 1-octadecene, 1.5°mmol lithium trifluoroacetate, and 1°mmol LiYF4:10%Er3+ core (2°mmol sodium trifluoroacetate and 1°mmol NaYF4:10%Er3+ core for NaYF4:10%Er3+@NaYF4, 2°mmol sodium trifluoroacetate and 1°mmol NaGdF4:10%Er3+ core for NaGdF4:10%Er3+@NaGdF4) were added into the flask. The resulting solution was then heated at 120°C with magnetic stirring for 45°min to remove water and oxygen. The brown solution was then heated to 310°C at a rate of about 12°C per min under argon gas protection and kept at this temperature under vigorous stirring for 45°min. A syringe needle was used to let the argon gas out during the synthesis. The mixture was cooled to room temperature and precipitated by excess ethanol and collected by centrifugation. The precipitate was washed with ethanol several times, and the nanocrystals were dispersed in hexane.

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