Research Article


2018, 11(4): 2104–2115


Temperature modulation of concentration quenching in lanthanide-doped nanoparticles for enhanced upconversion luminescence

Luoyuan Li1,§, Ningjiu Zhao1,2,§, Limin Fu1 (*), Jing Zhou3, Xicheng Ai1, and Jianping Zhang1

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1 Department of Chemistry, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
2 State Key Laboratory of Molecular Reaction Dynamics, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116023, China
3 Department of Chemistry, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
§ Luoyuan Li and Ningjiu Zhao contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: upconversion luminescence, lanthanide-doped nanoparticle, temperature modulation, concentration quenching, energy transfer
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ABSTRACT The doping concentration of lanthanide ions is important for manipulating the luminescence properties of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs). However, the serious concentration quenching in highly doped UCNPs remains a vital restriction for further enhanced upconversion luminescence (UCL). Herein, we examined the effect of temperature on the concentration quenching of rare-earth UCNPs, an issue that has been overlooked, and we show that it is significant for biomedical or optical applications of UCNPs. In this work, we prepared a series of UCNPs by doping Er3+ luminescent centers at different concentrations in a NaLuF4:Yb3+ matrix. At room temperature (298 K), steady-state photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy showed substantial concentration quenching of the Er3+ emission with increasing doping concentrations. However, the concentration quenching effect was no longer effective at lower temperatures. Kinetic curves obtained from time-resolved PL spectroscopy further showed that the concentration quenching dynamics were vitally altered in the cryogenic temperature region, i.e., below 160 K. Our work on the temperature-switchable concentration quenching mechanism may shed light on improving UCL properties, promoting their practical applications.
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Temperature modulation of concentration quenching in lanthanide-doped nanoparticles for enhanced upconversion luminescence. Nano Res. 2018, 11(4): 2104–2115

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