Refractive Index Tuning of Hybrid Materials for Highly Transmissive Luminescent Lanthanide Particle-Polymer Composites

Paul Kim, Cheng Li, Richard Riman, James Watkins

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High-refractive-index ZrO2 nanoparticles were used to tailor the refractive index of a polymer matrix to match that of luminescent lanthanide-ion-doped (La0.92Yb0.075Er0.005F3) light-emitting particles, thereby reducing scattering losses to yield highly transparent emissive composites. Photopolymerization of blends of an amine-modified poly(ether acrylate) oligomer and tailored quantities of ZrO2 nanoparticles yielded optically transparent composites with tailored refractive indices between 1.49 and 1.69. By matching the refractive index of the matrix to that of La0.92Yb0.075Er0.005F3, composites with high transmittance (>85%) and low haze from the visible to infrared regions, bright 1530 nm optical emissions were achieved at solids loadings of La0.92Yb0.075Er0.005F3, ranging from 5 to 30 vol %. These optical results suggest that a hybrid matrix approach is a versatile strategy for the fabrication of functional luminescent optical composites of high transparency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9038-9047
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 14 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


  • hybrid composites
  • lanthanum fluoride phosphor
  • near-infrared optical composites
  • refractive index tuning
  • zirconium dioxide

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