Abstract

The effect of repeated radiative energy transfer on the observed excited-state lifetime τobs of a luminescent species in a solid is studied by Monte Carlo simulations. Increasing the sample path length, the reabsorption coefficient, or the luminescence quantum yield significantly lengthens τobs relative to its intrinsic value τ0. This effect is additionally amplified by total internal reflection. Room-temperature lifetimes of  2F5/2 in YAG:1%Yb3+ and  4I11/2 in YLF:5%Er3+ were measured in a spherically refractive-index-matched geometry, yielding the low values of 0.9489±0.0006 and 3.75±0.01 ms, respectively. It is concluded that lifetimes obtained from non-refractive-index matched experiments are usually significantly overestimated. The technique presented is easily applicable to room-temperature excited-state lifetime measurements of many luminescent solids.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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