Temperature sensors account for approximately 80% of the world sensor market, which is expected to be worth 8 billion EUR by 2028. Even though temperature measuring devices abound, only a few thermometers can operate in contemporary environments, such as biomedicine, micro/nanofluidics, and opto/nanoelectronics, where spatial resolutions of less than 1 μm are required. There is a current unmet need for a broadly applicable technique for measuring temperatures in small fluid volumes (< 1 nL), where traditional thermometry is not suitable or even possible. Here, we will develop an optical self-referencing thermometer with a spatial resolution of less than 1 μm by the targeted development of luminescence thermometry. We will design and fabricate novel luminescence thermometry probes using cutting-edge inorganic luminescent materials that emit in the red–deep-red–NIR spectral regions and are highly temperature sensitive. By advancing temperature readings from luminescence, we will establish a completely new technology for remote measuring and controlling temperature in microfluidic devices at the technology readiness level 5 (TRL5). As proof of the science-to-technology breakthrough, we will fabricate a showcase exemplar of a photothermally based highly sensitive microfluidic chemical analysis system for quantification of analytes and the detection of individual nanoparticles in a liquid flow.