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Title: Air‐Stable Silicon Nanocrystal‐Based Photon Upconversion
Abstract

Photon upconversion may have the highest impact in biological applications because incoming photons transparent to tissue can be combined to make visible light useful for photodynamic therapy and imaging. The ability to use semiconductor nanocrystals as light absorbers for photon upconversion is important because their strong absorption profiles are synthetically tunable. In particular, the use of earth‐abundant, environmentally benign silicon quantum dots (QDs) as light absorbers for photon upconversion is very attractive. In this work, the authors demonstrate a general strategy employing both physical and chemical barriers to achieve air‐stable fusion of triplet excitons photosensitized by silicon QDs, crucial to practical applications of photon upconversion. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) show that thermal hydrosilylation critical for colloidal stability and efficient triplet energy transfer creates a polymeric barrier to oxygen. This kinetic barrier to oxygen arises from the presence of cross‐linked surfactants and is complemented by the sacrificial oxidation of silicon QDs itself. Photon upconversion lasted longer than 4 days with quantum yields (QYs) as high as 7.5% (out of a maximum of 50%) using Si QD light absorbers with diphenylanthracene in methyl oleate. Oil‐in‐water micelles are air‐stable for 2 days with absolute upconversion QYs of 5.5%.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10446004
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced Optical Materials
Volume:
9
Issue:
17
ISSN:
2195-1071
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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