Meeting the high demand for lanthanide-doped luminescent nanocrystals across a broad range of fields hinges upon the development of a robust synthetic protocol that provides rapid, just-in-time nanocrystal preparation. However, to date, almost all lanthanide-doped luminescent nanomaterials have relied on direct synthesis requiring stringent controls over crystal nucleation and growth at elevated temperatures. Here we demonstrate the use of a cation exchange strategy for expeditiously accessing large classes of such nanocrystals. By combining the process of cation exchange with energy migration, the luminescence properties of the nanocrystals can be easily tuned while preserving the size, morphology and crystal phase of the initial nanocrystal template. This post-synthesis strategy enables us to achieve upconversion luminescence in Ce3+ and Mn2+-activated hexagonal-phased nanocrystals, opening a gateway towards applications ranging from chemical sensing to anti-counterfeiting.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KAUST Global Collaborative Research for the Academic Excellence Alliance (AEA) fund
Acknowledgements: This work is supported by the Singapore Ministry of Education (Grant R143000627112, R143000642112), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) under the contracts of 122-PSE-0014 and 1231AFG028 (Singapore), National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its Competitive Research Program (CRP Award No. NRF-CRP15-2015-03), National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, Grant 2015CB932200), National Natural Science Foundation of China (61136003), and the CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams. Y.H. is grateful to KAUST Global Collaborative Research for the Academic Excellence Alliance (AEA) fund.