Highly bright multicolor tunable ultrasmall β-Na(Y,Gd)F 4:Ce,Tb,Eu/β-NaYF4 core/shell nanocrystals

Su Yeon Kim, Kyoungja Woo, Kipil Lim, Kwangyeol Lee, Ho Seong Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Herein, we report highly bright multicolor-emitting β-Na(Y,Gd)F 4:Ce,Tb,Eu/β-NaYF4 nanoparticles (NPs) with precise color tunability. First, highly bright sub-20 nm β-Na(Y,Gd)F 4:Ce,Tb,Eu NPs were synthesized via a heating-up method. By controlling the ratio of Eu3+ to Tb3+, we generated green, yellow-green, greenish yellow, yellow, orange, reddish orange, and red emissions from the NP solutions via energy transfer of Ce3+ → Gd3+ → Tb3+ (green) and Ce3+ → Gd3+ → Tb3+ → Eu3+ (red) ions under ultraviolet light illumination (254 nm). Because of Ce3+ and Gd 3+ sensitization, Tb3+ ions exhibited strong green emission. The decay time of Tb3+ emission decreased from 4.0 to 1.4 ms as the Eu3+ concentration was increased, suggesting that energy was transferred from Tb3+ to Eu3+. As a result, Eu 3+ emission peaks were generated and the emission color was transformed from green to red. Monodisperse sub-6 nm β-Na(Y,Gd)F 4:Ce,Tb,Eu NPs were synthesized through a simple reduction of the reaction temperature. Although fine color tunability was retained, their brightness was considerably decreased owing to an increase in the surface-to-volume ratio. The formation of a β-NaYF4 shell on top of the sub-6 nm NP core to produce β-Na(Y,Gd)F4:Ce,Tb,Eu/ β-NaYF4 significantly increased the emission intensity, while maintaining the sub-10 nm sizes (8.7-9.5 nm). Quantum yields of the ultrasmall NPs increased from 1.1-6.9% for the core NPs to 6.7-44.4% for the core/shell NPs. Moreover, highly transparent core/shell NP-polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composites featuring a variety of colors, excellent color tunability, and high brightness were also prepared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9255-9263
Number of pages9
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct 7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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