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Plasmon-Enhanced Energy Transfer for Improved Upconversion of Infrared Radiation in Doped-Lanthanide Nanocrystals.

Published in Nano Letters
View article on PubMed


Upconversion of infrared radiation into visible light has been investigated for applications in photovoltaics and biological imaging. However, low conversion efficiency due to small absorption cross-section for infrared light (Yb(3+)), and slow rate of energy transfer (to Er(3+) states) has prevented application of upconversion photoluminescence (UPL) for diffuse sunlight or imaging tissue samples. Here, we utilize resonant surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) waves to enhance UPL in doped-lanthanide nanocrystals. Our analysis indicates that SPP waves not only enhance the electromagnetic field, and hence weak Purcell effect, but also increase the rate of resonant energy transfer from Yb(3+) to Er(3+) ions by 6 fold. While we do observe strong metal mediated quenching (14-fold) of green fluorescence on flat metal surfaces, the nanostructured metal is resonant in the infrared and hence enhances the nanocrystal UPL. This strong Coulombic effect on energy transfer can have important implications for other fluorescent and excitonic systems too.

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We recommend the following JoVE video articles to help you visualize related concepts:

 

Whole Cell Patch Clamp for Investigating the Mechanisms of Infrared Neural Stimulation
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Terahertz Microfluidic Sensing Using a Parallel-plate Waveguide Sensor
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