The room-temperature controlled crystallization of monodispersed ZnS nanoparticles (average size of 5 nm) doped with luminescent ions (such as Mn2+, Eu3+, Sm3+, Nd3+, and Yb3+) was achieved via a microfluidic approach. The preparation did not require any stabilizing ligands or surfactants, minimizing potential sources of impurities. The synthesized nanomaterials were characterized from a structural (XRD and XAS at lanthanide L-3 edges), morphological (TEM), and compositional (XPS, ICP-MS) perspective, giving complementary information on the materials' features. In view of potential applications in the field of optical bioimaging, the optical emission properties of the doped nano-particles were assessed, and samples showed strong luminescent properties while being less affected by self-quenching mechanisms. Furthermore, in vitro cytotoxicity experiments were conducted, showing no negative effects and evidencing the appeal of the synthesized materials for potential applications in the field of optical bioimaging.
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