Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2014

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry


Chemistry & Biochemistry


James Bolender


In recent years, nanoparticles have been applied to and have gained prevalence in fields such as chemistry, biology, the medical sciences, and biotechnology,and have attracted the attention of medical researchers as potential microscopic drug delivery systems in the human body. In particular, nanoparticles made with the lanthanides have shown themselves to be useful to many biological applications due to their unique luminescent properties. It is crucial to determine optimum synthetic parameters so that nanoparticles are both small enough to pass through the kidneys and also have the ability to attach different functional groups so that they may be relevant to pharmaceutical applications. The size distribution of terbium-doped lanthanide nanocrystals based upon varied counterions (fluoride, chloride, and phosphate) and pH conditions (pH 2-7) was fractionated using ultra-centrifugation and quantified using spectrofluorimetry that ultilizes the unique luminescent properties of terbium. In addition, the quantum yields of these nanocrystals were explored using luminescence lifetime measurements.