John Capobianco

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Upconverting NaY4 nanoparticles

Lanthanide doped nanoparticles

This research involves the synthesis, characterization and spectroscopy of lanthanide doped nanoparticles which have attracted considerable attention due to their potential application as biolabels and in biological assays. Nanoparticles doped with lanthanide ions that emit in the infrared are also attractive to the telecommunication industry. These materials are particularly robust and resistant to chemical and photo-induced degradation making them ideal for these applications.

We have developed a new synthetic route based on this method that provides highly crystalline and luminescent lanthanide-doped cubic NaYF4 nanoparticles capable of being colloidally dispersed in nonpolar solvent (e.g. hexane, toluene, dichloromethane). By varying various synthetic parameters we are able to tailor the size and shape of the synthesized nanoparticles.

The synthesized particles are thoroughly characterized in terms of their physical characteristics and spectroscopic properties. Physical characterization entails powder X-ray diffraction to determine the crystalline phase and crystallite size, low and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) along with atomic force microscopy (AFM) to examine sample morphology and individual particle size, and reflectance Fourier transformed infra-red spectroscopy to detect the presence of surface species. Dynamics, luminescence efficiency and high resolution spectroscopic measurements on the dispersed nanoparticles enable us to understand the size dependence of the spectroscopic properties.

About John Capobianco

This is a photo of John Capobianco

Current position

  • Professor
  • Concordia University Senior Research Chair in Nanoscience
  • Grant Selection Committee Member, Korean Science and Engineering Foundation, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
  • Grant Selection Committee Member, Microscopic Imaging Panel, National Institute of Health, U.S.A.
  • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


  • Ph.D. University of Geneva, Geneva (Switzerland)
  • B.Sc. McMaster University, Hamilton

Editorial boards

  • Journal of Nanotechnology
  • Research Letters in Nanotechnology
  • International Journal of Green Nanotechnology: Physics and Chemistry


Office: SP 275.13
Lab: SP 185.09
Phone: 514.848.2424 ext. 3350

Recent publications

  • P. Haro-González, P. Rodríguez Sevilla, F. Sanz-Rodríguez, E. Martín Rodríguez, N. Bogdan, J. A. Capobianco, K. Dholakia and D. Jaque Gold Nanorod Assisted Intracellular Optical Manipulation of Silica Microspheres, Optics Express 2014, 22, 19735-19747. DOI
  • D. C. Rodríguez Burbano, E. Martín Rodríguez, P. Dorenbos, M. Bettinelli, J. A. Capobianco Investigation of Near-IR Photo-Stimulated Luminescence of CaS:Eu2+/Dy3+Nanoparticles, Journal of Materials Chemistry C 2014, 2, 228-231. DOI
  • A. Arnold, V. Terskikh, Q. Y. Li, R. Naccache, I. Marcotte and J. A. Capobianco Structure of NaYF4 Upconverting Nanoparticles: A Multinuclear Solid-State NMR and DFT Computational Study, Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2013, 117, 25733-25741. DOI
  • P. Haro-Gonzáles, B. del Rosal, L. M. Mastro, E. Martín Rodríguez, R. Naccache, J. A. Capobianco, K. Dholakia, J. García Solé and D. Jaque Optical Trapping of NaYF4: Er3+, Yb3+ Upconverting Fluorescent Nanoparticles, Nanoscale 2013, 5, 12192-12199. DOI
  • R. Naccache, P. Chevallier, J. Lagueux, L. Faucher, Y. Gossuin, S. Laurent, J. A. Capobianco and M.-A. Fortin NaGdF4 Nanoparticles for Vascular Signal Enhancement, GAdvanced Healthcare Materials 2013, 2, 1478-1488. DOI
  • V. Mahalingam, C. Hazra, R. Naccache, F. Vetrone and J. A. Capobianco Enhancing the Color Purity of the Green Upconversion Emission from Er3+/Yb3+-doped GdVO4 Nanocrystals via Tuning of the Sensitizer Concentration, Journal of Materials Chemistry C 2013, 1, 6536-6540. DOI
  • L. M. Maestro, C. Jacinto, U. R. Silva, F. Vetrone, J. A. Capobianco, D. Jaque and J. G. Solé Response to; Critical Growth Temperature of Aqueous CdTe Quantum Dots is Non-negligible for their Application as Nanothermometers, Small 2013, 9, 3198-3200. DOI


Concordia University