Core–shell–shell heterostructures of α-NaLuF4:Yb/Er@NaLuF4:Yb@MF2 (M = Ca, Sr, Ba) with remarkably enhanced upconversion luminescence†
Core–shell–shell heterostructures of α-NaLuF4:Yb/Er@NaLuF4:Yb@MF2 (M = Ca, Sr, Ba) have been successfully fabricated via the thermal decomposition method. Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), upconversion luminescence (UCL) spectroscopy, etc. Under 980 nm excitation, the emission intensities of the UCNPs are remarkably enhanced after coating the MF2 (M = Ca, Sr, and Ba) shell. Among these samples, CaF2 coated UCNPs show the strongest overall emission, while BaF2 coated UCNPs exhibit the longest lifetime. These results demonstrate that alkaline earth metal fluorides are ideal materials to improve the UCL properties. Meanwhile, although the lattice mismatch between the ternary NaREF4 core and the binary MF2 (M = Sr and Ba) shell is relatively large, the successfully synthesized NaLuF4:Yb/Er@NaLuF4:Yb@MF2 indicates a new outlook on the fabrication of heterostructural core–shell UCNPs.