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Highly Polarized Upconversion Emissions from Lanthanide-Doped LiYF4 Crystals as Spatial Orientation Indicators

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journal contribution
posted on 12.11.2021, 21:06 authored by Ze-Yu Lyu, Hao Dong, Xiang-Fei Yang, Ling-Dong Sun, Chun-Hua Yan
Polarized emission, an inherent characteristic that correlated with structure and morphology, is very sensitive to orientation. For the upconversion (UC) emission of lanthanides, the mechanism of polarization is rarely discussed, and the highly polarized UC emissions are poorly developed. Herein, with the benefit of the strong anisotropic crystal field, well-resolved emissions from lanthanide-doped LiYF4 crystals were studied, and highly polarized UC emissions from Er3+ and Ho3+ were investigated. With multiple sub-energy level transitions, the UC emissions are classified into two sets, with transition dipoles being either parallel or perpendicular to the c-axis of the LiYF4 crystal. An optical three-dimensional orientation sensor was further investigated, in which the in-plane angle is referenced from the orientation of the transition dipoles. In contrast, the out-of-plane angle can be deduced from the change in the degree of polarization. This research deepens our understanding of the polarized photoluminescence, and it opens up an avenue toward unique UC orientation sensors.