Nat Commun 2019 04 18;10(1):1811. Epub 2019 Apr 18.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Hong Kong, SAR, China.
The applications of lanthanide-doped upconversion nanomaterials are limited by unsatisfactory brightness currently. Herein, a general strategy is proposed for boosting the upconversion efficiency in Er ions, based on combined use of a core-shell nanostructured host and an integrated optical waveguide circuit excitation platform. A NaErF@NaYF core-shell nanoparticle is constructed to host the upconversion process for minimizing non-radiative dissipation of excitation energy by surface quenchers. Furthermore, an integrated optical microring resonator is designed to promote absorption of excitation light by the nanoparticles, which alleviates quenching of excited states due to cross-relaxation and phonon-assisted energy transfer. As a result, multiphoton upconversion emission with a large anti-Stokes shift (greater than 1150 nm) and a high energy conversion efficiency (over 5.0%) is achieved under excitation at 1550 nm. These advances in controlling photon upconversion offer exciting opportunities for important photonics applications.