Luminescent nanoscale materials (LNMs) have received widespread interest in sensing and lighting applications due to their enhanced emissive properties. For sensing applications, LNMs offer improved sensitivity and fast response time which allow for lower limits of detection. Meanwhile, for lighting applications, LNMs, such as quantum dots, offer an improved internal quantum efficiency and controlled color rendering which allow for better lighting performances. Nevertheless, due to their nanometric dimensions, nanoscale materials suffer from extremely weak luminescence excitation (i.e. optical absorption) limiting their luminescence intensity, which in turn results in a downgrade in the limits of detection and external quantum efficiencies. Therefore, enhancing the luminescence excitation is a major issue for sensing and lighting applications.
In this work, we report on a novel photonic approach to increase the luminescence excitation of nanoscale materials. Efficient luminescence excitation increase is achieved via a gain-assisted waveguided energy transfer (G-WET). The G-WET concept consists on placing nanoscale materials atop of a waveguiding active (i.e. luminescent) layer with optical gain. Efficient energy transfer is thus achieved by exciting the nanoscale material via the tail of the waveguided mode of the active layer emission. The G-WET concept is demonstrated on both a nanothin layer of fluorescent sensitive polymer and on CdSe/ZnS quantum dots coated on ZnO thin film, experimentally proving up to an 8-fold increase in the fluorescence of the polymer and a 3-fold increase in the luminescence of the CdSe/ZnS depending of the active layer emission regime (stimulated vs spontaneous emission). Furthermore, we will discuss on the extended G-WET concept which consists on coating nanoscale materials on a nanostructured active layer. The nanostructured active layer offers the necessary photonic modulation and a high specific surface which can presumably lead to a more efficient G-WET concept. Finally, the efficiency as well as the observation conditions of the GWET will be discussed and compared with more conventional charge transfer or dipole-dipole energy transfer.
Roy Aad, Komla D. Nomenyo, Bogdan Bercu, Christophe Couteau, Vincent Sallet, David J. Rogers, Michael Molinari, and Gilles Lérondel, "Enhanced luminescence excitation via efficient optical energy transfer (Presentation Recording)," Proc. SPIE 9545, Nanophotonic Materials XII, 95450J (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 13, 2015; Published: 5 October 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2190818.4519316204001.
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