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.
© 2011 American Chemical Society