Ratiometric temperature sensing with semiconducting polymer dots

J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Jun 1;133(21):8146-9. doi: 10.1021/ja202945g. Epub 2011 May 11.


This communication describes ultrabright single-nanoparticle ratiometric temperature sensors based on semiconducting polymer dots (Pdots). We attached the temperature sensitive dye-Rhodamine B (RhB), whose emission intensity decreases with increasing temperature-within the matrix of Pdots. The as-prepared Pdot-RhB nanoparticle showed excellent temperature sensitivity and high brightness because it took advantage of the light harvesting and amplified energy transfer capability of Pdots. More importantly, the Pdot-RhB nanoparticle showed ratiometric temperature sensing under a single wavelength excitation and has a linear temperature sensing range that matches well with the physiologically relevant temperatures. We employed Pdot-RhB for measuring intracellular temperatures in a live-cell imaging mode. The exceptional brightness of Pdot-RhB allows this nanoscale temperature sensor to be used also as a fluorescent probe for cellular imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Energy Transfer
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Polymers*
  • Rhodamines / chemistry*
  • Semiconductors*
  • Temperature*


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Polymers
  • Rhodamines
  • rhodamine B