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Issue 7, 2016
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Ligand enhanced upconversion of near-infrared photons with nanocrystal light absorbers

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Abstract

We designed and synthesized a tetracene derivative 4-(tetracen-5-yl)benzoic acid (CPT) as a transmitter ligand used in PbS/PbSe nanocrystal (NC) sensitized upconversion of near infrared (NIR) photons. Under optimal conditions, comparing CPT functionalized NCs with unfunctionalized NCs as sensitizers, the upconversion quantum yield (QY) was enhanced 81 times for 2.9 nm PbS NCs from 0.021% to 1.7%, and 11 times for 2.5 nm PbSe NCs from 0.20% to 2.1%. The surface density of CPT controls the solubility of functionalized NCs and the upconversion QY. By increasing the concentration of CPT in the ligand exchange solution, the number of CPT ligand per NC increases. The upconversion QY is maximized at a transmitter density of 1.2 nm−2 for 2.9 nm PbS, and 0.32 nm−2 for 2.5 nm PbSe. Additional transmitter ligands inhibit photon upconversion due to triplet–triplet annihilation (TTA) between two neighboring CPT molecules on the NC surface. 2.1% is the highest reported QY for TTA-based photon upconversion in the NIR with the use of earth-abundant materials.

Graphical abstract: Ligand enhanced upconversion of near-infrared photons with nanocrystal light absorbers

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jan 2016, accepted on 02 Mar 2016 and first published on 04 Mar 2016


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SC00257A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2016,7, 4101-4104
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Ligand enhanced upconversion of near-infrared photons with nanocrystal light absorbers

    Z. Huang, D. E. Simpson, M. Mahboub, X. Li and M. L. Tang, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 4101
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SC00257A

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