We have developed a novel design of optical nanothermometers that can measure the surrounding temperature in the range of 20-85C. The nanothermometers comprise two organic fluorophores encapsulated in a crosslinked polymethacrylate nanoshell. The role of the nanocapsule shell around the fluorophores is to form a well-defined and stable microenvironment to prevent other factors besides temperature from affecting the dyes' fluorescence. The two fluorophores feature different temperature-dependent emission profiles; a fluorophore with relatively insensitive fluorescence (rhodamine 640) serves as a reference whereas a sensitive fluorophore (indocyanine green) serves as a sensor. The sensitivity of the nanothermometers depends on the type of nanocapsule-forming lipid and is affected by the phase transition temperature. Both the fluorescence intensity and the fluorescence lifetime can be utilized to measure the temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10292-10297
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 11 2014


  • fluorescence lifetime
  • indocyanine green
  • nanocapsules
  • thermometers
  • vesicles


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