Structural Confinement for Cr3+ Activators toward Efficient Near- Infrared Phosphors with Suppressed Concentration Quenching

Trivalent chromium ion-doped near-infrared (NIR) phosphors have been widely studied due to their tunable emission wavelengths and broad applications. High Cr3+ concentration can improve absorption efficiency but generally results in low emission intensity due to the concentration quenching effect. Herein, we report a series of efficient NIR phosphors with suppressed concentration quenching, Sr9M1–x(PO4)7:xCr3+ (M = Ga, Sc, In, and Lu), showing a broadband NIR emission ranging from 700 to 1100 nm peaking at 850 nm upon the 485 nm light excitation. The emission peak position is almost independent of the type of M ion and the Cr3+ dopant content, and the type of M ion has little influence on the luminescence thermal quenching, indicating that [MO6] octahedra are rigid enough to keep octahedral volumes and average M3+–O2– distances nearly constant owing to the formation of the framework structure on Cr3+ substitution. The NIR emission intensities monotonously increase with the Cr3+ content increasing from 0 to 80% with suppressed concentration quenching, the intensity of Sr9Cr(PO4)7 still maintains 84.23% of Sr9Ga0.2(PO4)7:0.8Cr3+ phosphor, and the thermal quenching behavior is slightly dependent on x; these effects can be attributed to the suppressed energy transfer due to the structural confinement effect. The optimal sample, Sr9Ga0.2(PO4)7:0.8Cr3+, has an internal/external quantum efficiency of 66.3%/29.9%. Finally, we fabricate a NIR phosphor-conversion light-emitting diode and demonstrate its applications in nondestructive examination and medical fields.

Tuning of Photoluminescence and Local Structures of Substituted Cations in xSr2Ca(PO4)2–(1 – x)Ca10Li(PO4)7:Eu2+ Phosphors

Chem. Mater., 2017, 29, 3, 1430–1438.

Local structure modification in solid solution is an essential part of photoluminescence tuning of rare earth doped solid state phosphors. Herein we report a new solid solution phosphor of Eu2+-doped xSr2Ca(PO4)2–(1–x)Ca10Li(PO4)7 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1), which share the same β-Ca3(PO4)2 type structure in the full composition range. Depending on the x parameter variation in xSr2Ca(PO4)2–(1 – x)Ca10Li(PO4)7:Eu2+, the vacancies generated in the M(4) site enable the nonlinear variation of cell parameters and volume, and this increases the magnitude of M(4)O6 polyhedra distortion. The local structure modulation around the Eu2+ ions causes different luminescent behaviors of the two-peak emission and induces the photoluminescence tuning. The shift of the emission peaks in the solid solution phosphors with different compositions has been discussed. It remains invariable at x ≤ 0.5, but the red-shift is observed at x > 0.5 which is attributed to combined effect of the crystal field splitting, Stokes shift, and energy transfer between Eu2+ ions. The temperature-dependent luminescence measurements are also performed, and it is shown that the photoionization process is responsible for the quenching effect.