Hybrid excitation mechanism of upconversion fluorescence in hollow La2Ti2O7: Tm3+/Yb3+ submicron fibers

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High-crystalline, hollow-mesh-like Tm3+/Yb3+-co-doped La2Ti2O7 (LTO) submicron fibers are prepared by electrospinning technique and identified as monoclinic structure. The LTO matrix fibers and the Tm3+/Yb3+-co-doped fibers exhibit different frequency upconversion luminescence. The fluorescence of the matrix at the 487 and 542 nm is ascribed to the two-photon absorption and the cross-relaxation processes caused by the defect center at 977 nm excitation, respectively. The upconversion luminescence intensity enhances when the rare-earth ions are incorporated into LTO fibers. The emissions of Tm3+ in co-doped LTO membranes at 479 and 789 nm under the excitation of 977 nm indicate the effectiveness of the three- and two-photon absorption processes, respectively. The pristine LTO fibers have the potential to be employed for water purification as a laser-excited photocatalytic material because the LTO materials are conducive to absorbing the highly penetrating NIR laser. Furthermore, the Tm3+/Yb3+ ions play a positive role in further promoting the laser-absorption capacity, and the hybrid excitation mechanism in the Tm3+/Yb3+-co-doped LTO composite fibers provides a new perspective for the development of anti-laser inorganic materials.

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This work was supported by the Support Program for the Scientific Research Funding Project from the Educational Department of Liaoning Province, China (Grant No. J2019021) and the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Grant No. CityU 11219819).

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Correspondence to Xin Zhao.

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Zhou, R., Lin, P., Pun, E.Y.B. et al. Hybrid excitation mechanism of upconversion fluorescence in hollow La2Ti2O7: Tm3+/Yb3+ submicron fibers. J Mater Sci 55, 4633–4645 (2020) doi:10.1007/s10853-019-04306-w

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