Metal-enhanced upconversion luminescence tunable through metal nanoparticle-nanophosphor separation

Marjan Saboktakin, Xingchen Ye, Soong Ju Oh, Sung Hoon Hong, Aaron T. Fafarman, Uday K. Chettiar, Nader Engheta, Christopher B. Murray, Cherie R. Kagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

256 Citations (Scopus)


We have demonstrated amplification of luminescence in upconversion nanophosphors (UCNPs) of hexagonal phase NaYF 4 (β-NaYF 4) doped with the lanthanide dopants Yb 3+, Er 3+ or Yb 3+, Tm 3+ by close proximity to metal nanoparticles (NPs). We present a configuration in which close-packed monolayers of UCNPs are separated from a dense multilayer of metal NPs (Au or Ag) by a nanometer-scale oxide grown by atomic layer deposition. Luminescence enhancements were found to be dependent on the thickness of the oxide spacer layer and the type of metal NP with enhancements of up to 5.2-fold proximal to Au NPs and of up to 45-fold proximal to Ag NPs. Concomitant shortening of the UCNP luminescence decay time and rise time is indicative of the enhancement of the UCNP luminescence induced by resonant plasmonic coupling and nonresonant near-field enhancement from the metal NP layer, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8758-8766
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct 23
Externally publishedYes


  • atomic layer deposition
  • lanthanide
  • metal-enhanced absorption
  • nanoimprint lithography
  • nanophosphor
  • plasmonically enhanced emission
  • upconversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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