We have investigated how layered structures of TiO2 and Eu2O3 on the subnanometer scale control the optical absorption, energy transfer, emission and quenching mechanisms in sensitized lanthanide luminescence systems. By using atomic layer deposition (ALD) as a tool for designing materials with sub nanometer precision, we have been able to make structures ranging from separate (TiO6)8- clusters to bulk TiO2, and series of samples showing transitions from 3D to 2D energy migration. Photoluminescence, excitation and decay measurements have been used alongside transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to investigate how the different structures affect the luminescence. We show that it is possible to drastically suppress concentration quenching compared to solid solutions by designing materials as multilayered structures that confines energy migration in 2D planes. This allows for application of higher concentrations of lanthanides and more defected structures, also enabling use of less pure reactants during synthesis.
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