Nanocrystals of lanthanide oxybromides (LnOBrs) with low-phonon energy and high chemical stability are of particular interest for lighting and bioimaging applications. Here, for the first time, we report the synthesis of high-quality LnOBr (Ln = La, Eu, Gd, Tb) nanocrystals using the thermal decomposition of single-source precursors. Moreover, this robust and facile method can be used to synthesize optically active ultrathin EuOBr nanosheets and Eu3+-doped LaOBr nanocrystals with unique luminescence properties. Importantly, for the first time, the application of Eu3+-doped LaOBr nanocrystals in cancer cell imaging has been demonstrated.

This paper was originally published in Applied Materials Today 1 (2015) Pages 20-26

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