Abstract

In this Letter, I present a versatile strategy to enhance the near-infrared to near-infrared (NIR-to-NIR) upconversion luminescence from sub-10-nm ultra-small LaF3:Yb3+/Tm3+ colloidal nanoparticles through lanthanide doping under 980 nm laser excitation. It is interesting that the NIR-to-NIR upconversion emission at 801 nm of LaF3:Yb3+/Tm3+ nanoparticles can be improved by increasing the Tm3+ doping concentration or by introducing another lanthanide activator (Er3+ or Ho3+) as a sensitizer. The luminescence enhancement effect showed a strong dependence on the doping concentrations of activator ions (Tm3+, Er3+, or Ho3+). Particularly, adding 1 mol. % Ho3+ ions into LaF3:Yb3+/Tm3+ nanoparticles induced a 2.85-fold enhancement in NIR 801 nm emission of Tm3+ ions. The related upconversion emission mechanisms were investigated and discussed.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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