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Nanoscale. 2011 Mar;3(3):963-6. doi: 10.1039/c0nr00823k. Epub 2011 Jan 25.

Composition tuning the upconversion emission in NaYF4:Yb/Tm hexaplate nanocrystals.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Single crystal hexagonal NaYF4:Yb/Tm nanocrystals have been synthesized with uniform size, morphology and controlled chemical composition. Spectroscopic studies show that these nanocrystals exhibit strong energy upconversion emission when excited with a 980 nm diode laser, with two primary emission peaks centered around 452 nm and 476 nm. Importantly, the overall and relative emission intensity at these wavelengths can be readily tuned by controlling the concentration of the trivalent rare earth element dopants at the beginning of the synthesis which has been confirmed by EDX for the first time. Through systematic studies, the optimum rare earth ion doping concentration can be determined for the strongest emission intensity at the selected peak(s). Confocal microscopy studies show that the upconversion emission from individual NCs can be readily visualized. These studies demonstrate a rational approach for fine tuning the upconversion properties in rare-earth doped nanostructures and can broadly impact areas ranging from energy harvesting, energy conversion to biomedical imaging and therapeutics.

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