In this paper, a novel plasmon-enhanced photoluminescence (PL) hybrid system is presented based on metal–semiconductor nanostructure, in which TiO2:Sm3+ works as luminophor while the gold nanoparticle (NP) as the promoter of plasmon resonance. The plasmon-enhanced PL is obtained by optimizing the plasmon resonance peak of gold NP employed in the system, and it is deduced that there is energy transfer from TiO2:Sm3+ to Au NPs during the process of light emitting. When the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) spectra of Au NPs overlap with the PL spectra of TiO2:Sm3+, the Au NPs absorb the energy transferred from TiO2:Sm3+, and then the plasmonic mode confined around Au NPs can be excited to bring out the PL enhancement.
Schematic illustration of the process of plasmon-enhanced emission. The different steps are (a) light emitting of TiO2:Sm3+, (b) energy transferred from TiO2:Sm3+ to the Au NPs, and (c) enhanced emitting of the hybrid system.