Abstract

We report a new phonon-assisted upconversion excitation design that enables the excitation energy to be lower than the persistent luminescence emission energy in persistent phosphors. We demonstrate this upconversion excitation concept in Zn3Ga2GeO8:Cr3+ near-infrared persistent phosphor by achieving Cr3+ 700 nm persistent emission using 800 or 980 nm laser diode excitation. Depending on the sample temperature, the excitation photon energy can be tuned, and the persistent luminescence intensity can be adjusted. Depending on the excitation power, the upconversion trap filling process involves either one photon (for filling low-energy traps) or two photons (for filling high-energy traps). Our research provides a major step toward manipulating the electronic excitation in persistent luminescence, which has implication for many applications.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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