Single-step approach to sensitized luminescence through bulk-embedded organics in crystalline fluorides

Per Anders Hansen, Tomas Zikmund, Ting Yu, Julie Nitsche Kvalvik, Thomas Aarholt, Øystein Prytz, Andries Meijerink, Ola Nilsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Luminescent materials enable warm white LEDs, molecular tagging, enhanced optoelectronics and can improve energy harvesting. With the recent development of multi-step processes like down- and upconversion and the difficulty in sensitizing these, it is clear that optimizing all properties simultaneously is not possible within a single material class. In this work, we have utilized the layer-by-layer approach of atomic layer deposition to combine broad absorption from an aromatic molecule with the high emission yields of crystalline multi-layer lanthanide fluorides in a single-step nanocomposite process. This approach results in complete energy transfer from the organic molecule while providing inorganic fluoride-like lanthanide luminescence. Sm3+ is easily quenched by organic sensitizers, but in our case we obtain strong fluoride-like Sm3+ emission sensitized by strong UV absorption of terephthalic acid. This design allows combinations of otherwise incompatible species, both with respect to normally incompatible synthesis requirements and in controlling energy transfer and quenching routes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number162
Number of pages10
JournalCommunications Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020


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