Sol–gel glass-ceramics comprising rare-earth doped SnO2 and LaF3 nanocrystals: an efficient simultaneous UV and IR to visible converter
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- Yanes, A.C., del-Castillo, J., Méndez-Ramos, J. et al. J Nanopart Res (2011) 13: 7295. doi:10.1007/s11051-011-0643-1
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We report a novel class of nanostructured glass-ceramics comprising two co-existing rare-earth doped nanocrystalline phases, SnO2 semiconductor nanocrystal (quantum dot), and LaF3, presenting sizes at around 4.6 and 9.8 nm, respectively, embedded into a silica glass matrix for an efficient simultaneous UV and IR to visible photon conversion. On one hand, the wide and strong UV absorption by SnO2 quantum dot and subsequent efficient energy transfer to Eu3+ and, on the other hand, the also very efficient IR to visible up-conversion with the pair Yb3+–Er3+ partitioned into low phonon LaF3 nanocrystalline environment, yield to visible emissions with application in improving the spectral response of photovoltaic solar cells.