Nearfield scanning optical microscopy characterization of arrays of rare earth based nanocrystals

Thomas J. Mullen, Ming Zhang, Wei Feng, Rita El-khouri, Ling Dong Sun, Chun Hua Yan, Timothy E. Patten, Gang-yu Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Rare earth based nanocrystals are of great interest due to their unique photoluminescent characteristic of upconversion; absorption of near infrared radiation then emission of visible photons. Therefore, these materials provide excellent resolution for increasing the efficiency of solar cells by utilizing the 20% infrared and near infrared radiation of the sun. Using a home-constructed nearfield scanning optical microscope (NSOM), we studied the size, geometry, and surface functionality in correlation with the photoluminescent spectra of individual NaYF 4:Yb,Er nanocrystals and arrays of NaYF 4:Yb,Er nanocrystals generated by particle lithography. In contrast to prior aperture and apertureless NSOM, our new design exploits the photoluminescence of Si 3N 4 atomic force microscopy tips under laser excitation to delineate between near-field and far-field signals. These initial investigations provide new insights into the structure-spectroscopy relationship of engineered rare earth nanomaterials to guide the optimization of these nanomaterials in photovoltaic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
StatePublished - 2011
Event241st ACS National Meeting and Exposition - Anaheim, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 27 2011Mar 31 2011


Other241st ACS National Meeting and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAnaheim, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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