This week in glass news, researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia have developed a glass embedded with light-emitting nanoparticles using a new method without negatively impacting glass properties such as transparency and versatility. The researchers, led by Tim Zhao, Ph.D., developed a new process they call “direct-doping” with novel luminescent nanoparticles.
“These novel luminescent nanoparticles, called upconversion nanoparticles, have become promising candidates for a whole variety of ultra-high tech applications such as biological sensing, biomedical imaging and 3D volumetric displays,” said Tim Zhao, Ph.D., according to the article. “Integrating these nanoparticles into glass, which is usually inert, opens up exciting possibilities for new hybrid materials and devices that can take advantage of the properties of nanoparticles in ways we haven’t been able to do before. For example, neuroscientists currently use dye injected into the brain and lasers to be able to guide a glass pipette to the site they are interested in. If fluorescent nanoparticles were embedded in the glass pipettes, the unique luminescence of the hybrid glass could act like a torch to guide the pipette directly to the individual neurons of interest.”
The researchers believe their new method may be applicable to other nanoparticles with unique photonic, electronic and magnetic properties, which would in turn change the properties of the glass. The research, which was completed in collaboration with Macquarie University and University of Melbourne, has been published online in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.
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