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Chromophore-Sensitized Up-Conversion in Lanthanide Materials

Final Report Summary - CHROMSENSUC (Chromophore-Sensitized Up-Conversion in Lanthanide Materials)

The ChromSENSUC project was a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant held in the High Pressure and Spectroscopy Group of the University of Cantabria by Dr. Ignacio Hernández and aiming at studying the properties of energy transfer and light upconversion (conversion of low energy [red/infra-red] radiation into higher [UV-visible]) in lanthanide materials with organic groups.

The applications of these materials and phenomenology span from organic electronics to telecommunications, secret inks, photochemistry, etc.

During this research, the goal has been producing advanced materials based on upconverting lanthanides and understanding the main intervening mechanisms for energy transfer processes. The major target has been producing design rules and efficient materials for improved phosphor capabilities from the red/infra-red region of the spectrum into the visible. Challenges have involved decreasing the quenching of the lanthanides’ low energy excited states and coupling to organic chromophores. The project has articulated along the production and study of several families of compounds at ambient and low/high temperature conditions, as well as high pressure. The high pressure study allows systematic variations of the structure and electronic states without changing the chemical composition, which helps de-coupling the involved opto-structural mechanisms. Incidentally, the study of the proposed organic semiconductors at high hydrostatic pressure has constituted a novel and original research line itself, with multiple associated phenomenology and applications.

The fruits of this research have been published in international journals, series of books and disseminated in international conferences. The research is still ongoing as the proposed directions and strategy allow for more research.

The progress along the ChromSensUC project represents a decisive contribution to the Fellow’s professional re-integration and research career for the longer term. The Marie Curie CIG grant, understood as a tenure-track position by the University has allowed the researcher the involvement in teaching duties, and career development schemes, and has served as foundation of his academic independence and leadership. At the end of the tenure track, the Fellow has achieved an interim permanent position which is to be definitely fixed when replacement of retired staff allows it.

The ChromSensUC project has allowed consolidating existing collaborations with other international groups and the development of new ones, including collaborations with British, Chinese, Mexican and Spanish groups, apart from the ones within the host institution.