Abstract

Optical tagging technology with emission in the ultraviolet region upon visible-light excitation is promising for objects identified in visually bright environments, while the relevant research is absent. Here we put forward a covert tagging concept, which is based on up-converting phosphors (e.g.,  ${{\rm Lu}_3}{{\rm Al}_5}{{\rm O}_{12}}{:}{{\rm Pr}^{3 +}}$) with emission peaking in the ultraviolet-B region (UV-B, 290−320 nm). A white-light flashlight serves as excitation source to make the up-converter emit, and an ultraviolet camera is applied to see such an emission wavelength range. This Letter expands the excitation source for an up-conversion process to a convenient flashlight for the first time, to the best of our knowledge. Moreover, such a flashlight-pumped UV-B tagging technology is generally applicable for many other phosphors, which can be utilized to mark and differentiate objects in commercial, civilian, or military applications.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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