Abstract

In this work, we report on efficient visible and near-IR upconversion emissions in colloidal hexagonal-phase core/shell NaYF4:Er3+/NaYF4 nanoparticles (38nm) under IR laser excitation at 1523 nm. Varying amounts of Er3+ dopants were introduced into the core NaYF4:Er3+ nanoparticles, revealing an optimized Er3+ concentration of 10% for the highest luminescent efficiency. An inert epitaxial shell layer of NaYF4 grown onto the core of the NaYF4:Er3+10% nanoparticle increased its upconversion emission intensity fivefold due to suppression of surface-related quenching mechanisms, yielding the absolute upconversion efficiency to be as high as 3.9±0.3% under an excitation density of 18W/cm2. The dependence of the intensity of upconversion emission peaks on laser excitation density in the core/shell nanoparticle displayed “saturation effects” at low excitation density in the range of 1.518W/cm2, which again demonstrates high upconversion efficiency.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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