Promising lanthanide-doped BiVO4 phosphors for highly efficient upconversion luminescence and temperature sensing†
The semiconductor oxide BiVO4 has been intensively studied as a highly efficient photocatalyst. Here we attempt to adopt trivalent lanthanide (Ln3+)-doped BiVO4 as a novel upconversion luminescence (UCL) material for achieving high-efficiency UCL and temperature sensing under near-infrared (NIR) irradiation. Er3+/Tm3+, Yb3+/Er3+, and Yb3+/Tm3+ ions were selected to co-dope the BiVO4 phosphors, achieving three primary colors of red, green, and blue (RGB) with high color-purity. At an optimal doping concentration, the upconversion quantum yield of the BiVO4:8%Yb3+,18%Er3+ phosphor reaches as high as 2.9%. Furthermore, we, for the first time, demonstrate the non-contact temperature sensing properties of a BiVO4:Er3+,Tm3+ phosphor via employing fluorescence intensity ratio technology. The results show that the maximum absolute thermal sensitivity is ≈70 × 10–4 K−1 at 473 K under 980 nm excitation, with high and stable sensitivity of more than 60 × 10−4 K−1 over a wide temperature range of 333–493 K. In addition, at a much safer wavelength of 1550 nm, this sample achieves maximum absolute sensitivity of 56 × 10−4 K−1 at 453 K. Moreover, the BiVO4:Er3+,Tm3+ phosphor presents high relative sensitivity of about 1.1% K−1 under both 980 and 1550 nm excitation at 293 K. These results indicate that the BiVO4 semiconductor oxide can be used as a novel host to achieve high UCL efficiency and promising thermal sensing performance, suggesting potential applications in the new fields of anti-counterfeiting, displays, and non-contact temperature sensors.