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Issue 12, 2017
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Excitation power dependent population pathways and absolute quantum yields of upconversion nanoparticles in different solvents

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Abstract

The rational design of brighter upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) requires a better understanding of the radiationless deactivation pathways in these materials. Here, we demonstrate the potential of excitation power density (P)-dependent studies of upconversion (UC) luminescence intensities, slope factors, and absolute quantum yields (ΦUC) of popular β-NaYF4:20% Yb3+,2% Er3+ UCNPs of different surface chemistries in organic solvents, D2O, and water as a tool to gain deeper insight into the UC mechanism including population and deactivation pathways particularly of the red emission. Our measurements, covering a P regime of three orders of magnitude, reveal a strong difference of the P-dependence of the ratio of the green and red luminescence bands (Ig/r) in water and organic solvents and P-dependent population pathways of the different emissive energy levels of Er3+. In summary, we provide experimental evidence for three photon processes in UCNPs, particularly for the red emission. Moreover, we demonstrate changes in the excited population dynamics via bi- and triphotonic processes dependent on the environment, surface chemistry, and P, and validate our findings theoretically.

Graphical abstract: Excitation power dependent population pathways and absolute quantum yields of upconversion nanoparticles in different solvents

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Article information


Submitted
04 jan. 2017
Accepted
28 feb. 2017
First published
28 feb. 2017

Nanoscale, 2017,9, 4283-4294
Article type
Paper

Excitation power dependent population pathways and absolute quantum yields of upconversion nanoparticles in different solvents

C. Würth, M. Kaiser, S. Wilhelm, B. Grauel, T. Hirsch and U. Resch-Genger, Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 4283
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR00092H

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