Simultaneous Tailoring of Phase Evolution and Dopant Distribution in the Glassy Phase for Controllable Luminescence

Construction of an active composite with multicolor visible and broadband near-infrared luminescence is of great technological importance for various applications, including three-dimensional (3D) display, broadband telecommunication, and tunable lasers. The major challenge is the effective management of energy transfer between different dopants in composite. Here we present an in situ strategy for controlling energy transfer between multiple active centers via simultaneous tailoring of the evolution of phases and the distribution of dopants in the glassy phase. We show that the orderly precipitation of Ga2O3 and LaF3 nanocrystals and the selective incorporation of Ni2+ and Er3+ into them can be achieved. The obtained composite shows unique multicolor visible and broadband near-infrared emission. Possible mechanisms for the selective doping phenomenon are proposed, based on thorough structural and optical characterizations and crystal-field calculation results. Moreover, the strategy can be successfully extended to accomplish space-selective control of multicolor luminescence by employing the modulated stimulation field. The results suggest that the strategy could be applied to fabricate a multifunctional light source with a broad range of important host/activator combinations and to construct various types of three-dimensional active microstructures.