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PHYS 8990 Topic

Near-infrared long-persistent phosphors

Zhengwei Pan

Long-persistent phosphorescent materials have long been of great interests due to their important applications as emergency route signs, identification markers and displays in dark environments or in the night. Significant progress has been made on visible light emitting long-persistent phosphors; for example, intense and long persistent (>10 h) green and blue emitting phosphors have been commercially available and are being widely used in various dark environments. The research and development in near infrared (NIR) persistent phosphors, however, are far behind their visible counterparts, even though there are increasing demands for applications in security, solar energy utilization and bio-sensing.

We have recently discovered and synthesized several series of novel NIR persistent phosphors. These NIR long-persistent phosphors exhibit superior performance in solar energy absorption, storage, conversion, and NIR persistence intensity and persistence time. Our results have shown that the new NIR phosphors can be used as spectral converter in high-efficiency solar cells, as invisible taggants for tracking, tagging and locating of targets of interest, and as optical probes for in vivo bio-imaging.

In this project, the students will have an opportunity to learn the fundamentals on persistent luminescence, to design and develop new NIR persistent phosphors, to characterize optical properties, to investigate the underlying persistent luminescent mechanisms, and to explore the applications in solar energy utilization, identification, and bio-imaging. 

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