Jean-Claude Bunzli - New opportunities for lanthanide luminescence

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  Bunzli,J.C.G., Comby,S., Chauvin,A.S., Vandevyver,C.D.B.   Journal of Rare Earths 2007 25  (3) 257-274

  Abstract: Trivalent lanthanide ions display   fascinating optical properties. The discovery of the   corresponding elements and their first industrial uses were   intimately linked to their optical properties. This relationship   has been kept alive until today when many high-technology   applications of lanthanide-containing materials such as   energy-saving lighting devices, displays, optical fibers and   amplifiers, lasers, responsive luminescent stains for biomedical   analyses and in cellulo sensing and imaging, heavily rely on the   brilliant and pure-color emission of lanthanide ions. In this   review we first outlined(A the basics of lanthanide luminescence   with emphasis on f-f transitions, the sensitization mechanisms,   and the assessment of the luminescence efficiency of   lanthanide-containing emissive molecular edifices. Emphasis was   then put on two fast developing aspects of lanthanide   luminescence: materials for telecommunications and fight emitting   diodes, and biomedical imaging and sensing. Recent advances in   NIR-emitting materials for plastic amplifiers and waveguides were   described, together with the main solutions brought by   researchers to minimize non-radiative deactivation of excited   states. The demonstration in 1999 that erbium   tris(8-hydroxyquinolinate) displayed a bright green emission   suitable for organic light emitting diodes (OLEDS) was followed   by realizing that in OLEDs, 25% of the excitation energy leads to   singlet states and 75% to triplet states. Since lanthanide ions   are good triplet quenchers, they now also play a key role in the   development of these lighting devices. Luminescence analyses of   biological molecules are among the most sensitive analytical   techniques known. The long lifetime of the lanthanide excited   states allows time-resolved spectroscopy to be used, suppressing   the sample autofluorescence and reaching very low detection   limits. Not only visible lanthanide sensors are now ubiquitously   provided in medical diagnosis and in cell imaging but the   feasibility of using NIR emission of ions such as Yb-III is now   being tested because of deeper penetration in biological tissues

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