Size-dependent abnormal thermo-enhanced luminescence of ytterbium-doped nanoparticles.

Author(s) Cui, X.; Cheng, Y.; Lin, H.; Huang, F.; Wu, Q.; Wang, Y.
Journal Nanoscale
Date Published 2017 Sep 21

Thermal quenching above 300 K is widely expected in photoluminescence. Luminescence quenching is usually ascribed to the non-radiative relaxation of excited electrons to the ground state of the activators, during which a high temperature always plays a role in pushing the excited electrons towards the quenching channels, leading to thermal quenching. For the lanthanide-doped nanoparticles, however, there is a special luminescence quenching channel that does not exist in their bulk counterparts, i.e., energy migration-induced surface quenching. Herein, a size-dependent abnormal thermal enhancement of luminescence in the temperature range of 300 K to 423 K in the ytterbium-doped fluoride nanoparticles is presented for the first time. Importantly, in this work, we originally demonstrate that the energy migration-induced surface quenching can be suppressed by increasing temperature, which results in the abnormal thermal enhancement of luminescence. According to the temperature-dependent X-ray diffraction and lifetime analyses, an underlying mechanism based on the effect of thermal lattice expansion on ytterbium-mediated energy migration is proposed. This new finding adds new insights to the size effect on the luminescent characteristics of nanoparticles, which could be utilized to construct some unique nanostructures, especially for many important temperature-related purposes, such as thermal sensing technology.

DOI 10.1039/c7nr04575a
ISSN 2040-3372
Citation Nanoscale. 2017;9(36):1379413799.

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