Enhancing photoluminescence of carbon quantum dots doped PVA films with randomly dispersed silica microspheres

Xun Zhao, Ailin Wang, Sili Gao, Duanting Yan, Wanying Guo, Yingyue Xu, Yanli Meng, Chunliang Wang, Guiye Shan
2020 Scientific Reports  
As a kind of excellent photoluminescent material, carbon quantum dots have been extensively studied in many fields, including biomedical applications and optoelectronic devices. They have been dispersed in polymer matrices to form luminescent films which can be used in LEDs, displays, sensors, etc. Owing to the total internal reflection at the flat polymer/air interfaces, a significant portion of the emitted light are trapped and dissipated. In this paper, we fabricate free standing flexible
more » ... tanding flexible PVA films with photoluminescent carbon quantum dots embedded in them. We disperse silica microspheres at the film surfaces to couple out the total internal reflection. The effects of sphere densities and diameters on the enhancement of photoluminescence are experimentally investigated with a homemade microscope. The enhancement of fluorescence intensity is as high as 1.83 when the film is fully covered by spheres of 0.86 [Formula: see text]m diameter. It is worth noting that the light extraction originates from rather the scattering of individual spheres than the diffraction of ordered arrays. The mechanism of scattering is confirmed by numerical simulations. The simulated results show that the evanescent wave at the flat PVA/air interface can be effectively scattered out of the film.
doi:10.1038/s41598-020-62563-1 pmid:32235901 fatcat:h7swrb4p7nbshniv53n43ry6tq