Aggregation-induced heterogeneities in the emission of upconverting nanoparticles at the submicron scale unfolded by hyperspectral microscopy


Transparent upconverting hybrid nanocomposites are exciting materials for advanced applications such as 3D displays, nanosensors, solar energy converters, and fluorescence biomarkers. This work presents a simple strategy to disperse upconverting beta-NaYF4:Yb3+/Er3+ or Tm3+ nanoparticles into low cost, widely used and easy-to-process polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based organic-inorganic hybrids. The upconverting hybrids were shaped as monoliths, films or powders displaying in the whole volume Tm3+ or Er3+ emissions (in the violet/blue and green/red spectral regions, respectively). For the first time, hyperspectral microscopy allows the identification at the submicron scale of differences in the hybrids' emission colour, due to variations in the relative intensity of the distinct components of the upconversion spectrum. The effect is attributed to the size distribution of the agglomerates of nanoparticles, highlighting the importance of studying the emission at submicron scales, since this effect is not observable in measurements recorded in larger areas.




Chemistry; Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science


Gonell, F; Botas, AMP; Brites, CDS; Amoros, P; Carlos, LD; Julian-Lopez, B; Ferreira, RAS

nossos autores


This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007679 (FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2019) financed by Portuguese funds through the Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia/Ministerio da Educacao e Ciencia and when appropriate cofinanced by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. This work was also supported by Spanish Government (MINECO, project MAT2015-64139-C4-2-R) and Universitat Jaume I (UJI-B2018-71 project). The support provided by the Portuguese and Spanish governments (bilateral actions Ref. E92 and PRI-AIBPT2011-1010), and MAT2011-27008 project is also acknowledged. CDSB and AMPB acknowledge their grants financed by the SusPhotoSolutions project CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000005. SCIC from Universitat Jaume I and Electron Microscopy Service from Universitat Politecnica of Valencia are also acknowledged for instrumental facilities.

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