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Fiorenzo Vetrone

Areas of expertise

Nanoparticles doped with rare earths , Bioimaging , Nanoparticles emitting in the near infrared , Nanothermometry , Theranostic , Upward conversion

+1 514-228-6847

+1 450 929-8102


Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre

1650 Lionel-Boulet Blvd.
Varennes, Quebec J3X 1P7

See the research centre

Research interests

My research interests focus on luminescent nanoparticles and their implementation in multifunctional nanoplatforms for application in biological systems and nanomedicine. We focus, in particular, on rare earth (also known as lanthanide) doped nanoparticles, and exploit their very interesting optical properties (upconversion and near-infrared emission) for the simultaneous detection and therapeutics of diseases such as cancer. In particular, we are interested in harnessing the light from these nanoparticles to trigger other light activated modalities for application in:

  • Thermal sensing and nanothermometry
  • Upconversion, multiphoton, and near-infrared bioimaging
  • Controlled drug release
  • Photodynamic therapyPhotothermal therapy
  • Biosensing And more…

To add further “functionalitiy” to these nanoparticles, we are developing new hybrid and composite nanosystems composed of the rational combination of rare earth nanoparticles with other optically stimulated nanomaterials such as semiconductor quantum dots, plasmonic nanostructures, metal oxides, etc. Our laboratory is fully equipped to study all aspects from the synthesis of new nanoparticles/architectures, the study of their fundamental photophysics, to their integration into multimodal nanoplatforms.

Professor Vetrone received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Concordia University followed by postdoctoral fellowships funded by the Royal Society (UK) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Nanobiotechnology at Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications (INRS-EMT) in October 2010 and promoted to Associate Professor in June 2015. He was hired to develop an ambitious and vigorous research programme at the vanguard of nanomaterials research and their implementation in the life sciences and nanomedicine. The overarching theme of his research group is to develop multifunctional nanoplatforms, excited by near-infrared light, to simultaneously trigger other light activated modalities.

Professor Vetrone is a pioneer in the field of rare earth doped upconverting nanoparticles, publishing the first paper in the field in the year 2000. He has published ~100 papers in prestigious, high impact, peer-reviewed publications such as Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nano Letters, ACS Nano, Chemistry of Materials, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, Nanoscale, Science, etc. with a number of ISI Highly Cited Papers. He has given over 100 invited lectures at prestigious conferences, universities and summer schools around the world. Moreover, he has won a number of prestigious awards from NSERC, IUPAC, the Royal Society (UK), ASM International, Provinces of Benevento (Italy) and Shandong (China), etc. and has been elected as a member of the Global Young Academy.



[105] R. Marin, L. Labrador-Paéz, A. Skripka, P. Haro-González, A. Benayas, P. Canton, D. Jaque, F. Vetrone, Upconverting Nanoparticle to Quantum Dot Förster Resonance Energy Transfer: Increasing the Efficiency through Donor Design, ACS Photonics, DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.8b00112

[105] R. Marin, L. Labrador-Paéz, A. Skripka, P. Haro-González, A. Benayas, P. Canton, D. Jaque, F. Vetrone, Upconverting Nanoparticle to Quantum Dot Förster Resonance Energy Transfer: Increasing the Efficiency through Donor Design, ACS Photonics, DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.8b00112

[104] Y. Huang, A. Skripka, L. Labrador-Páez, F. Sanz-Rodríguez, P. Haro-González, D. Jaque, F. Rosei, F. Vetrone, Upconverting Nanocomposites with Combined Photothermal and Photodynamic Effects, Nanoscale, 10, 791-799 (2018)

[103] F. Yang, A. Skripka, A. Benayas, X. Dong, S. H. Hong, F. Ren, J. K. Oh, X. Liu, F. Vetrone, D. Ma, An Integrated Multifunctional Nanoplatform for Deep-Tissue Dual-Mode Imaging, Adv. Funct. Mater., 28, 1870073 (2018)

[102] R. Adhikari, K. Basu, Y. Zhou, F. Vetrone, D. Ma, S. Sun, F. Vidal, H. Zhao, F. Rosei, Heterostructured Quantum Dot Architectures for Efficient and Stable Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production, J. Mater. Chem. A, DOI: 10.1039/C7TA11378A

[101] P. Cortelletti, A. Skripka, C. Facciotti, M. Pedroni, G. Caputo, N. Pinna, M. Quintanilla, A. Benayas, F. Vetrone, A. Speghini, Tuning the Sensitivity of Lanthanide Activated NIR Nanothermometers in the Biological Windows, Nanoscale, 10, 2568-2576 (2018)

[100] P. Cortelletti, M. Pedroni, F. Boschi, S. Pin, P. Ghigna, P. Canton, F. Vetrone, A. Speghini, Luminescence of Eu3+ Activated CaF2 and SrF2 Nanoparticles: Effect of the Particle Size and Co-Doping with Alkaline IonsCryst. Growth Des., 18, 686-694 (2018)


[99] F. Vetrone, F. Rosei, A Low-Loss Origami Plasmonic Waveguide, Science357, 452-453 (2017)

[98] S. Bhuckory, E. Hemmer, Y.-T. Wu, A. Yahia-Ammar, F. Vetrone, N. Hildebrandt, Core or Shell? Er3+ FRET Donors in Upconversion Nanoparticles, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 2017, 5186-5195 (2017)

[97] A. SkripkaA. BenayasR. MarinP. Canton, E. Hemmer, F. Vetrone, Double Rare-Earth Nanothermometer in Aqueous Media: Opening the Third Optical Transparency Window to Temperature SensingNanoscale9, 3079-3085 (2017)

[96] A. Skripka, R. Marin, A. Benayas, P. Canton, E. Hemmer, F. Vetrone, Covering the Optical Spectrum Through Collective Rare-Earth Doping of NaGdF4 Nanoparticles: 806 and 980 nm Excitation RoutesPhys. Chem. Chem. Phys.19, 11825-11834 (2017)

[95] R. Naccache, A. Mazhorova, M. Clerici, R. Piccoli, L. K. Khorashad, A. O. Govorov, L. Razzari, F. Vetrone, R. Morandotti, Terahertz Thermometry: Combining Hyperspectral Imaging and Temperature Mapping at Terahertz Frequencies, Laser Photon. Rev., 11, 1600342C (2017)

[94] J. Zhang, Y. Huang, L. Jin, F. Rosei, F. Vetrone, J. P. Claverie, Efficient Upconverting Multiferroic Core@Shell Photocatalysts: Visible-to-Near-Infrared Photon HarvestingACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 9, 8142-8150 (2017)

[93] M. Pedroni, P. Cortelletti, I. X. Cantarelli, N. Pinna, P. Canton, M. Quintanilla, F. Vetrone, A. Speghini, Colloidal Nanothermometers Based on Neodymium Doped Alkaline-Earth Fluorides in the First and Second Biological WindowsSens. Actuator B-Chem.250, 147-155 (2017)

[92] E. C. Ximendes, U. Rocha, B. del Rosal, A. Vaquero, F. Sanz‐Rodríguez, L. Monge, F. Ren, F. Vetrone, D. Ma, J. García‐Solé, C. Jacinto, D. Jaque, N. Fernández, In Vivo Ischemia Detection by Luminescent NanothermometersAdv. Healthcare Mater., 6, 1601195 (2017)

[91] T. Cheng, R. O’Rorke, R. F. Ortiz, T. Y. Yan, E. Hemmer, F. Vetrone, R. S Marks, T. W. J. Steele, Self-Assembled Photoadditives in Polyester Films Allow Stop and Go Chemical ReleaseActa Biomater., 54, 186-200 (2017)

[90] P. Cortelletti, C. Facciotti, I. X. Cantarelli, P. Canton, M. Quintanilla, F. Vetrone, A. Speghini, M. Pedroni, Nd3+ Activated CaF2 Nanoparticles as Colloidal Nanothermometers in the Biological WindowOpt. Mater.68, 29-34 (2017)

[89] F. Ren, B. del Rosal, S. Y. An, F. Yang, E. Carrasco, A. Benayas, J. K. Oh, D. Jaque, Á. Juarranz de la Fuente, F. Vetrone, D. Ma, Development and Investigation of Ultrastable PbS/CdS/ZnS Quantum Dots for Near-Infrared Tumor ImagingPart. Part. Syst. Charact.34, 1600242 (2017)


[88] G. Jalani, R. Naccache, D. H. Rosenzweig, L. Haglund, F. Vetrone, M. Cerruti, Photocleavable Hydrogel-Coated Upconverting Nanoparticles: A Multifunctional Theranostic Platform for NIR Imaging and On-Demand Macromolecular DeliveryJ. Am. Chem. Soc., 138, 1078-1083 (2016)

[87] E. Hemmer, A. Benayas, F. Légaré, F. Vetrone, Exploiting the Biological Windows: Current Perspectives on Fluorescent Bioprobes Emitting Above 1000 nmNanoscale Horiz.1, 168-184 (2016)

[86] M. Quintanilla, A. Benayas, R. Naccache, F. Vetrone, Luminescence Nanothermometry with Lanthanide-Doped Nanoparticles, In Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Nanoscience & Nanotechnology Series, Thermometry at the Nanoscale, Edited by L. D. Carlos, F. Palacio, Chapter 5, pp. 124-166 (2016)

[85] B. del Rosal, E. Carrasco, F. Ren, A. Benayas, F. Vetrone, F. Sanz-Rodríguez, D. Ma, Á. Juarranz, D. Jaque, Infrared-Emitting QDs for Thermal Therapy with Real-Time Subcutaneous Temperature FeedbackAdv. Funct. Mater.26, 6060-6068 (2016)

[84] F. Ren, S. A. Lindley, H. Zhao, L. Tan, B. A. Gonfa, Y.-C. Pu, F. Yang, X. Liu, F. Vidal, J. Z. Zhang, F. Vetrone, D. Ma, Towards Understanding the Unusual Photoluminescence Intensity Variation of Ultrasmall Colloidal PbS Quantum Dots with the Formation of a Thin CdS ShellPhys. Chem. Chem. Phys.18, 31828-31835 (2016)

[83] Y. Huang, E. Hemmer, F. Rosei, F. Vetrone, Multifunctional Liposome Nanocarriers Combining Upconverting Nanoparticles and Anticancer DrugsJ. Phys. Chem. B120, 4992-5001 (2016)

[82] E. Hemmer, F. Vetrone, Nanothermometry using Upconverting Nanoparticles, In Upconverting Nanomaterials: Perspectives, Synthesis, and Applications, Edited by C. Altavilla, CRC Press, Chapter 11, pp. 319-358 (2016)

[81] K. Basu, D. Benetti, H. Zhao, L. Jin, F. Vetrone, A. Vomiero, F. Rosei, Enhanced Photovoltaic Properties in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells by Surface Treatment of SnO2 PhotoanodesSci. Rep.6, 23312 (2016)

[80] J. G. Jesu Raj, M. Quintanilla, F. Vetrone, Near-Infrared Triggered Generation of Reactive Oxygen Species from Upconverting Nanoparticles Decorated with an Organoiridium ComplexJ. Mater. Chem. B4, 3113-3120 (2016)


[79] A. Benayas, F. Ren, E. Carrasco, V. Marzal, B. del Rosal, B. A. Gonfa, Á. Juarranz, F. Sanz-Rodríguez, D. Jaque, J. García-Solé, D. Ma, F. Vetrone, PbS/CdS/ZnS Quantum Dots: A Multifunctional Platform for In Vivo Near‐Infrared Low‐Dose Fluorescence Imaging, Adv. Funct. Mater., 25, 6650-6659 (2015)

[78] S. Rohani, M. Quintanilla, S. Tuccio, F. De Angelis, E. Cantelar, A. O. Govorov, L. Razzari, F. Vetrone, Enhanced Luminescence, Collective Heating, and Nanothermometry in an Ensemble System Composed of Lanthanide‐Doped Upconverting Nanoparticles and Gold NanorodsAdv. Opt. Mater.3, 1606-1613 (2015)

[77] Y. Huang, F. Rosei, F. Vetrone, A Single Multifunctional Nanoplatform Based on Upconversion Luminescence and Gold Nanorods, Nanoscale, 7, 5178-5185 (2015)

[76] J. G. Jesu Raj, M. Quintanilla, K. A Mahmoud, A. Ng, F. Vetrone, M. Zourob, Sensitive Detection of ssDNA Using an LRET-Based Upconverting Nanohybrid MaterialACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 7, 18257–18265 (2015)

[75] E. N. Cerón, D. H Ortgies, B. del Rosal, F. Ren, A. Benayas, F. Vetrone, D. Ma, F. Sanz‐Rodríguez, J. García Solé, D. Jaque, E. Martín Rodríguez, Hybrid Nanostructures for High‐Sensitivity Luminescence Nanothermometry in the Second Biological WindowAdv. Mater.27, 4781-4787 (2015)

[74] M. Quintanilla, I. X. Cantarelli, M. Pedroni, A. Speghini, F. Vetrone, Intense Ultraviolet Upconversion in Water Dispersible SrF2:Tm3+, Yb3+ Nanoparticles: The Effect of the Environment on Light Emissions, J. Mater. Chem. C, 3, 3108-3113 (2015)

[73] Z. Xu, M. Quintanilla, F. Vetrone, A. O. Govorov, M. Chaker, D. Ma, Harvesting Lost Photons: Plasmon and Upconversion Enhanced Broadband Photocatalytic Activity in Core@Shell Microspheres Based on Lanthanide‐Doped NaYF4, TiO2, and AuAdv. Funct. Mater.25, 2950-2960 (2015)

[72] A. Benayas, B. del Rosal, A. Pérez-Delgado, K. Santacruz-Gómez, D. Jaque, G. A.Hirata, F. Vetrone, Nd:YAG Near-Infrared Luminescent Nanothermometers, Adv. Opt. Mater.3, 687-694 (2015)

[71] G. Jalani, D. H. Rosenzweig, G. Makhoul, S. Abdalla, R. Cecere, F. Vetrone, L. Haglund, Ma. Cerruti, Tough, In‐Situ Thermogelling, Injectable Hydrogels for Biomedical ApplicationsMacromol. Biosci.15, 473-480 (2015)

[70] S. Rohani, M. Quintanilla, R. Naccache, R. Morandotti, L. Razzari, F. Vetrone, Upconversion Enhancement in Lanthanide-Doped Nanoparticles by Means of Nanoplasmonics, In Springer Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology, Section on Nanoplasmonics, Edited by B. Bhushan, pp. 1-12 (2015)

[69] I. Villa, A. Vedda, I. X. Cantarelli, M. Pedroni, F. Piccinelli, M. Bettinelli, A. Speghini, M. Quintanilla, F. Vetrone, U. Rocha, C. Jacinto, E. Carrasco, F. Sanz Rodríguez, Á. Juarranz, B. Del Rosal, D. H Ortgies, P. H. Gonzalez, J. García Solé, D. Jaque García, 1.3 μm Emitting SrF2:Nd3+ Nanoparticles for High Contrast In Vivo Imaging in the Second Biological Window8, 649-665 (2015)

[68] F. Venne, M. Quintanilla, F. Quenneville, D. Işik, B. Baloukas, F. Vetrone, C. Santato, Towards Near-Infrared Photosensitization of Tungsten Trioxide Nanostructured Films by Upconverting NanoparticlesRSC Adv.5, 81875-81880 (2015)

[67] G. Jalani, R. Naccache, D. H. Rosenzweig, S. Lerouge, L. Haglund, F. Vetrone, M. Cerruti, Real-Time, Non-Invasive Monitoring of Hydrogel Degradation Using LiYF4:Yb3+/Tm3+ NIR-to-NIR Upconverting NanoparticlesNanoscale7, 11255-11262 (2015)

[66] T. Cheng, R. F. Ortiz, K. Vedantham, R. Naccache, F. Vetrone, R. S. Marks, T. W. J. Steele, Tunable Chemical Release from Polyester Thin Film by Photocatalytic Zinc Oxide and Doped LiYF4 Upconverting Nanoparticles, Biomacromolecules, 16, 364-373 (2015)

[65] E. Hemmer, M. Quintanilla, F. Légaré, F. Vetrone, Temperature-Induced Energy Transfer in Dye-Conjugated Upconverting Nanoparticles: A New Candidate for NanothermometryChem. Mater., 27, 235–244 (2015)


[64] E. Hemmer, F. Vetrone, K. Soga, Lanthanide-Based Nanostructures for Optical Bioimaging: Small Particles with Large PromiseMRS Bulletin39, 960-964 (2014)

[63] M. Quintanilla, F. Ren, D. Ma, F. Vetrone, Light Management in Upconverting Nanoparticles: Ultrasmall Core/Shell Architectures to Tune the Emission Color, ACS Photonics, 1, 662-669 (2014)


[62] F. Ren, H. Zhao, F. Vetrone, D. Ma, Microwave-Assisted Cation Exchange Toward Synthesis of Near-Infrared Emitting PbS/CdS Core/Shell Quantum Dots with Significantly Improved Quantum Yields Through a Uniform Growth Path, Nanoscale, 5, 7800-7804

For a complete list of publications, please visit my Google Scholar site.