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Open Access Nano Express

Reduced erbium-doped ceria nanoparticles: one nano-host applicable for simultaneous optical down- and up-conversions

Nader Shehata12*, Kathleen Meehan1, Ibrahim Hassounah3, Mantu Hudait1, Nikhil Jain1, Michael Clavel1, Sarah Elhelw1 and Nabil Madi4

Author Affiliations

1 Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

2 Department of Engineering Mathematics and Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

3 Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS), Blacksburg, VA, USA

4 Center of Advanced Materials (CAM), Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:231  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-231

Published: 13 May 2014

Abstract

This paper introduces a new synthesis procedure to form erbium-doped ceria nanoparticles (EDC NPs) that can act as an optical medium for both up-conversion and down-conversion in the same time. This synthesis process results qualitatively in a high concentration of Ce3+ ions required to obtain high fluorescence efficiency in the down-conversion process. Simultaneously, the synthesized nanoparticles contain the molecular energy levels of erbium that are required for up-conversion. Therefore, the synthesized EDC NPs can emit visible light when excited with either UV or IR photons. This opens new opportunities for applications where emission of light via both up- and down-conversions from a single nanomaterial is desired such as solar cells and bio-imaging.

Keywords:
Ceria nanoparticles; Erbium dopant; Fluorescence; Up-conversion