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These articles were highlighted on the covers of the Advanced Optical Materials April special issue on Optical Materials for Spectral Management:
J. A. Capobianco and co-workers propose a mechanism for electron trapping, persistent luminescence, and NIR photostimulated emission of CaS:Eu2+,Dy3+ nanophosphors observed after UV irradiation. Shallow traps are responsible for the strong red luminescence that persists for 5 h, while deeper traps are capable of storing energy that can be released via NIR excitation. These nanophosphors may therefore have potential for use in applications such as optical information storage and bioimaging.
Physical methods presented by J. Hao and co-workers can tune the luminescence of phosphors. The principles of this luminescence tuning and some primary strategies are described. Various applications are highlighted based on different groups of phosphors, including metal ion-doped phosphors, semiconductors, nanomaterials, and stimuli-responsive organic phosphors.
Twenty percent of the energy of the solar spectrum is lost as transmission losses in silicon solar cells. Current optical upconverters can recycle some of these NIR photons only at certain wavelength ranges. Photonic crystals and quantum dots are combined by J. Marques-Hueso et al. in order to achieve NIR spectral concentration in the 1470–1580 nm range, which is suitable for absorption of erbium-doped upconverters.