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Spectrally resolved confocal microscopy using lanthanide centred near-IR emission.


The narrow, near infrared (NIR) emission from lanthanide ions has attracted great interest, particularly with regard to developing tools for bioimaging, where the long lifetimes of lanthanide excited states can be exploited to address problems arising from autofluorescence and sample transparency. Despite the promise of lanthanide-based probes for near-IR imaging, few reports on their use are present in the literature. Here, we demonstrate that images can be recorded by monitoring NIR emission from lanthanide complexes using detectors, optical elements and a microscope that were primarily designed for the visible part of the spectrum.