The sensitization mechanisms of Yb3+ to Tm3+ for the blue upconversion luminescence in fluorophosphate glass were studied. Two different mechanisms exist in the sensitization. One is the sequential sensitization that Tm3+ is excited from 3H6 to 1G4 through absorbing three photons transferred from Yb3+ one by one. Another is the cooperative sensitization that two Yb3+ ions form a couple cluster firstly, and then the couple cluster Yb3+ ions transfer their energy to Tm3+ and excite it to 1G4. With the increment of the concentration of Yb3+ ions, the sequential sensitization becomes weak and the cooperative sensitization becomes intense, and the transformation trend of sensitization mechanism with the increment of Yb3+ concentration can be clarified by the introduction of Tb3+ ions in the glass. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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