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Issue 5, 2012
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Novel heterometal-organic complexes as first single source precursors for up-converting NaY(Ln)F4 (Ln = Yb, Er, Tm) nanomaterials

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Abstract

First heterometal–organic single source precursors for NaYF4 nanomaterials as a host matrix for up-conversion emission are reported. These novel heterobimetallic derivatives NaY(TFA)4(diglyme) (1), [Na(triglyme)2][Y2(TFA)7(THF)2] (2) and Na2Y(TFA)5(tetraglyme) (3) (TFA = trifluoroacetate), which were fully characterized by elemental analysis, FT-IR and 1H NMR spectroscopy, TG-DTA data as well as single crystal X-ray structures, are advantageous in terms of being anhydrous and having lower decomposition temperatures in comparison to the homometallic precursor Y(TFA)3(H2O)3. In addition, they also contain chelating glyme ligands, which act as capping reagents during decomposition to control the NaYF4 particle size and render them monodisperse in organic solvents. On decomposition in 1-octadecene, the molecular derivatives 1 and 3 are converted, in the absence of any surfactant or capping reagent, to cubic NaYF4 nanocrystals at significantly lower temperatures (below 250 °C). At higher temperature, a mixture of the cubic and hexagonal phases was obtained, the relative ratio of the two phases depending on the reaction temperature. A pure hexagonal phase, which is many folds more efficient for UC emission than the cubic phase, was obtained by calcining nanocrystals of mixed phase at 400 °C. In order to co-dope this host matrix with up-converting lanthanide cations, analogous complexes NaLn(TFA)4(diglyme) [Ln = Er (4), Tm (5), Yb (6)] and Na2Ln(TFA)5(tetraglyme) [Ln = Er (7), Yb (8)] were also prepared and characterized. The decomposition in 1-octadecene of suitable combinations and appropriate molar ratios of these yttrium, ytterbium and erbium/thulium derivatives gave cubic and/or hexagonal NaYF4: Yb3+, Er3+/Tm3+ nanocrystals (NCs) capped by diglyme or tetraglyme ligands, which were characterized by IR, TG-DTA data, EDX analysis and TEM studies. Surface modification of these NCs by ligand exchange reactions with poly acrylic acid (PAA) and polyethyleneglycol (PEG) diacid 600 was also carried out to render them water soluble. The THF solutions of suitable combinations of the diglyme derivatives were also used to elaborate the thin films of NaYF4:Yb3+, Er3+/Tm3+ on a glass or Si wafer substrate by spin coating. The multicolour up-conversion fluorescence was successfully realized in the Yb3+/Er3+ (green/red) and Yb3+/Tm3+ (blue/violet) co-doped NaYF4 nanoparticles and thin films, which demonstrates that they are promising UC nanophosphors of immense practical interest. The up-conversion excitation pathways for the Er3+/Yb3+ and Tm3+/Yb3+ co-doped materials are discussed.

Graphical abstract: Novel heterometal-organic complexes as first single source precursors for up-converting NaY(Ln)F4 (Ln = Yb, Er, Tm) nanomaterials

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jun 2011, accepted on 13 Oct 2011 and first published on 02 Dec 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1DT11070E
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2012,41, 1490-1502
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    Novel heterometal-organic complexes as first single source precursors for up-converting NaY(Ln)F4 (Ln = Yb, Er, Tm) nanomaterials

    S. Mishra, G. Ledoux, E. Jeanneau, S. Daniele and M. Joubert, Dalton Trans., 2012, 41, 1490
    DOI: 10.1039/C1DT11070E

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