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Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) exhibit unique optical properties such as photo-emission stability, large anti-Stokes shift, and long excited-state lifetimes, allowing significant advances in a broad range of applications from biomedical sensing to super-resolution microscopy. In recent years, progress on nanoparticle synthesis led to the development of many strategies for enhancing their upconversion luminescence, focused in particular on heavy doping of lanthanide ions and core–shell structures. In this article, we investigate the non-linear emission properties of fully Yb-based core–shell UCNPs and their impact on the super-resolution performance of stimulated excitation-depletion (STED) microscopy and super-linear excitation-emission (uSEE) microscopy. Controlling the power-dependent emission curve enables us to relax constraints on the doping concentrations and to reduce the excitation power required for accessing sub-diffraction regimes. We take advantage of this feature to implement multiplexed super-resolution imaging of a two-sample mixture.
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