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Lanthanides: Near-Infrared Materials

  1. Lining Sun,
  2. Liyi Shi

Published Online: 17 DEC 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119951438.eibc2083

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Sun, L. and Shi, L. 2012. Lanthanides: Near-Infrared Materials. Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Shanghai University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 DEC 2012


Recent research in the field of lanthanide-based near-infrared (NIR)-luminescent materials is very active, both at the fundamental and applied levels. A great deal of recent research has focused on the sensitization of NIR-luminescent lanthanides ions (Ln = Nd, Er, Yb, Ho, Tm, Dy, Sm, and Pr), which are emissive in the NIR region of the spectrum with the wavelength range of 750 to 2500 nm. NIR luminescence attracts interest based on their advantages for lasers, optical amplifiers for telecommunication, biological applications, NIR organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, and solar energy conversion, etc. This chapter describes the current interest in NIR-luminescent lanthanide complexes and materials. In an effort toward the practical applications, NIR-emitting complexes have been inserted into matrices, as a result, that is the NIR-luminescent lanthanide hybrid materials. We mainly focus on the NIR-luminescent lanthanide ions Yb3+, Nd3+, and Er3+, and to a lesser extent Pr3+, Sm3+, Dy3+, Ho3+, and Tm3+ which will be mentioned when relevant. The chapter describes the latest developments in (i) photophysics of NIR-emitting lanthanide ions; (ii) NIR-luminescent lanthanide complexes on the various sensitizers proposed for encapsulating these ions, such as βdiketone, ligands based on 8-hydroxyquinolinate, d-transition metal complexes, metal-organic frameworks, and macrocyclic ligands; and (iii) NIR-luminescent materials based on sol-gel, mesoporous materials, polymers, ionic liquids, and upconverting materials. As a conclusion, several evident research trends were proposed which are particularly promising but will require concerted effort for success.


  • near-infrared (NIR);
  • luminescence;
  • lanthanide ion;
  • ligand;
  • lanthanide complex;
  • sol-gel;
  • mesoporous;
  • polymer;
  • ionic liquid;
  • upconversion