Get access

Plasmonic Enhancement or Energy Transfer? On the Luminescence of Gold-, Silver-, and Lanthanide-Doped Silicate Glasses and Its Potential for Light-Emitting Devices

Authors

  • Maik Eichelbaum,

    1. Institut für Chemie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Brook-Taylor-Straße 2, 12479 Berlin (Germany)
    2. Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering (HKSM) Columbia University 500 West 120th Street New York, NY 10027 (USA)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Klaus Rademann

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut für Chemie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Brook-Taylor-Straße 2, 12479 Berlin (Germany)
    • Institut für Chemie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Brook-Taylor-Straße 2, 12479 Berlin (Germany).
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

With the technique of synchrotron X-ray activation, molecule-like, non-plasmonic gold and silver particles in soda-lime silicate glasses can be generated. The luminescence energy transfer between these species and lanthanide(III) ions is studied. As a result, a significant lanthanide luminescence enhancement by a factor of up to 250 under non-resonant UV excitation is observed. The absence of a distinct gold and silver plasmon resonance absorption, respectively, the missing nanoparticle signals in previous SAXS and TEM experiments, the unaltered luminescence lifetime of the lanthanide ions compared to the non-enhanced case, and an excitation maximum at 300–350 nm (equivalent to the absorption range of small noble metal particles) indicate unambiguously that the observed enhancement is due to a classical energy transfer between small noble metal particles and lanthanide ions, and not to a plasmonic field enhancement effect. It is proposed that very small, molecule-like noble metal particles (such as dimers, trimers, and tetramers) first absorb the excitation light, undergo a singlet-triplet intersystem crossing, and finally transfer the energy to an excited multiplet state of adjacent lanthanide(III) ions. X-ray lithographic microstructuring and excitation with a commercial UV LED show the potential of the activated glass samples as bright light-emitting devices with tunable emission colors.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary