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Spectral and Spatial Characterization of Upconversion Luminescence Nanocrystals as Nanowaveguides


Lanthanide upconversion (UC) luminescence nanocrystals exhibit a uniquely sharp multiband emission over a broad spectral bandwidth covering the ultraviolet region to the near-infrared (NIR) region when subjected to NIR excitation, which is vital for multichannel optical communication using wavelength-division multiplexing to achieve high transmission rates. In this study, we experimentally and theoretically investigated the spectral and spatial characterization of a single NaYF4:Yb3+,Tm3+(Yb3+,Er3+) UC nanocrystal as a nanowaveguide. We suggest that a UC nanocrystal can be used as a nanowaveguide because it produces a range of output colors simultaneously and provides unaltered emission bands during propagation. Via the observation of single NaYF4:Yb3+,Tm3+(Yb3+,Er3+) UC nanocrystals, we found, for the first time, that a single UC nanocrystal exhibited wavelength- and position-dependent UC emissions. In addition, by adding a Ag coating to the UC nanocrystal to act as a plasmonic waveguide and introducing a photonic crystal, the scattering loss of the UC emissions was significantly suppressed in the middle of the NaYF4 nanocrystal, indicating efficient light guiding through the UC nanocrystal. Our discovery provides a basic understanding of the use of UC nanocrystals as nanowaveguides at the single-nanoparticle level, expanding our knowledge of the performance optimization of UC nanomaterials.

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Mar 2017, accepted on 07 Jun 2017 and first published on 09 Jun 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR01745F
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Spectral and Spatial Characterization of Upconversion Luminescence Nanocrystals as Nanowaveguides

    W. Xu, T. K. Lee, B. Moon, D. Zhou, H. Song, Y. Kim, S. K. Kwak, P. Chen and D. R. Kim, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR01745F

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