Lanthanide-activated SrF2 nanoparticles with a multishell architecture were investigated as optical thermometers in the biological windows. A ratiometric approach based on the relative changes in the intensities of different lanthanide (Nd3+ and Yb3+) NIR emissions was applied to investigate the thermometric properties of the nanoparticles. It was found that an appropriate doping with Er3+ ions can increase the thermometric properties of the Nd3+-Yb3+ coupled systems. In addition, a core containing Yb3+ and Tm3+ can generate light in the visible and UV regions upon near-infrared (NIR) laser excitation at 980 nm. The multishell structure combined with the rational choice of dopants proves to be particularly important to control and enhance the performance of nanoparticles as NIR nanothermometers.
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