Journal article

Room-temperature single-photon emission from zinc oxide nanoparticle defects and their in vitro photostable intrinsic fluorescence

Kelvin Chung, Timothy J Karle, Asma Khalid, Amanda N Abraham, Ravi Shukla, Brant C Gibson, David A Simpson, Aleksandra B Djurisic, Hiroshi Amekura, Snjezana Tomljenovic-Hanic

Nanophotonics | De Gruyter Open | Published : 2017


Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a promising semiconductor that is suitable for bioimaging applications due to its intrinsic defect fluorescence. However, ZnO generally suffers from poor photostability. We report room-temperature single-photon emission from optical defects found in ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) formed by ion implantation followed by thermal oxidation in a silica substrate. We conduct a thorough investigation into the photophysics of a particularly bright defect and identify other single emitters within the NPs. Photostability was observed when the NPs were removed from the growth substrate and taken up by skin cells for in vitro imaging.


Awarded by ARC


Funding Acknowledgements

K.C. acknowledges a Melbourne Research Scholarship awarded by The University of Melbourne (UoM). B.C.G. acknowledges an ARC Future Fellowship (FT110100225). S.T.-H. acknowledges an ARC Australian Research Fellowship (DP1096288), an UoM Interdisciplinary Seed Grant, and the National Institute for Materials Science for travel support. H.A. was supported by JSPS-KAKENHI 26390032.