36. Two-Photon Excitation Temperature Nanosensors Based on a Conjugated Fluorescent Polymer Doped with a Europium Probe

A strongly fluorescent organic semiconducting polymer doped with a highly temperature dependent fluorescent europium(III) complex is converted into a nanosized material that is capable of optically sensing temperature (T) in the range from 0 to 50 °C via two-photon excitation at 720 nm. The nanosensors are prepared from a blue-fluorescent polyfluorene that acts as both a lightharvesting antenna (to capture two-photon energy) and an energy donor in a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) system. The photonic energy absorbed by the polymer is transferred to the T-sensitive red-luminescent europium complex contained in the nanoparticles. The close spatial proximity of the donor and the acceptor warrants efficient FRET. A poly(ethylene glycol)- co-poly(propylene oxide) block copolymer is also added to render the particles biocompatible. It is shown that T can be calculated from a) the intensity of the luminescence of the europium complex, b) the ratio of the intensities of the red and blue luminescence, or c) the T-dependent luminescence lifetime of the Eu(III) complex.