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

  • D. Jaque, L. M. Maestro, E. Escudero, E. M. Rodríguez, J. A. Capobianco, F. Vetrone, A. Juarranz de la Fuente, F. Sanz-Rodríguez, M. C. Iglesias-de la Cruz, C. Jacinto, U. Rocha and J. G. Solé Fluorescent Nano-Particles for Multi-Photon Thermal Sensing, Journal of Luminescence 2013, 133, 249-253. DOI
  • R. Naccache, E. M. Rodríguez, N. Bogdan, F. Sanz-Rodríguez, M. del Carmen Iglesias de la Cruz, A. J. de la Fuente, F. Vetrone, D. Jaque, J. G. Solé and J. A. Capobianco High Resolution Fluorescence Imaging of Cancers Using Lanthanide Ion-Doped Upconverting Nanocrystals, Cancers 2012, 4, 1067-1105. DOI
  • B. F. Zhang, M. Frigoli, F. Angiuli, F. Vetrone and J. A. Capobianco Photoswitching of Bis-Spiropyran Using Near-Infrared Excited Upconverting Nanoparticles, Chemical Communications 2012, 48, 7244-7246. DOI
  • N. Bogdan, E. M. Rodríguez, F. Sanz-Rodríguez, M. C. Iglesias de la Cruz, A. Juarranz, D. Jaque, J. G. Solé and J. A. Capobianco Bio-Functionalization of Ligand-Free Upconverting Lanthanide Doped Nanoparticles for Bio-Imaging and Cell Targeting, Nanoscale 2012, 4, 3647-3650. DOI
  • X. Teng, Y. Zhu, W. Wei, S. Wang, J. Huang, R. Naccache, W. Hu, A. I. Y. Tok, Y. Han, Q. Zhang, Q. Fan, W. Huang, J. A. Capobianco and L. Huang Lanthanide-Doped NaxScF3+x Nanocrystals: Crystal Structure Evolution and Multicolor Tuning, Journal of the American Chemical Society 2012, 134, 8340-8343. DOI
  • V. Mahalingam, R. Naccache, F. Vetrone and J. A. Capobianco Enhancing Upconverted White Light in Tm3+/Yb3+/Ho3+-Doped GdVO4 Nanocrystals via Incorporation of Li+ Ions, Optics Express 2012, 20, 111-119. DOI
  • L. M. Maestro, J. E. Ramírez-Hernández, N. Bogdan, J. A. Capobianco, F. Vetrone, J. G. Solé and D. Jaque Deep Tissue Bio-Imaging Using Two-Photon Excited CdTe Fluorescent Quantum Dots Working within the Biological Window, Nanoscale 2012, 4, 298-302. DOI


Concordia University