of that, the radiative lifetime of the 4 I 13/2 → 4 I 15/2 transition in Er3+ ions excited directly in SRSO should lie between 14 ms for pure silica  and 1 ms for silicon . The longer time obtained by us is typical for times selleck chemical obtained by other authors (i.e., SiO, 2.5 to 3.5 ms  and SRSO, 2 to 11 ms [11, 50–52]). To explain the second component of our samples, we have three options: (a) Er3+ ions are excited via aSi/Si-NCs, and there is only one optically active Er3+ site excited by two temporally different mechanisms; (b) Er3+ ions are excited via aSi/Si-NCs, and there are two different Er3+ sites, i.e., the isolated ion and clusters of ions; and (c) optically active Er3+ ions are excited via Si-NCs and aSi-NCs or defect states separately with a different kinetics . Nevertheless, even if the above models could explain two different times recorded for Er3+ emission, the short time observed for Er3+ seems to be much shorter than expected. This could be explained only by the assumption that the short emission decay can be related to Er3+ ions which interact with each other, and due to ion-ion interaction, their emission time can be significantly reduced. Efficient clustering NVP-BGJ398 ic50 of lanthanides and especially Er3+ ions has already been shown by us and other authors [3, 25]. Thus, we propose that the
slow component is due to emission from isolated ions, while the fast component is related with the ions in a cluster form. Moreover, from Figure 3, it can be seen that with increase of Si content, the Er3+-related emission decay is reduced. We believe that this is due to changes in the refractive index of our matrix for both samples and its contribution to the expression defining the radiative emission time for lanthanides : (6) (7) where n is the refractive index of the matrix, <ΨJ′| and |ΨJ> are the initial and final states of single parity, U (λ) is the irreducible tensor form of the dipole operator, λ is the emission wavelength,
and Ωλ are the Judd-Ofelt parameters, describing the local environment of the ion. We have Vildagliptin observed similar effects of the influence of n on the emission decay time recently for Tb3+ ions introduced into a SRSO matrix where the Si concentration was changed from 35% to 40%, increasing the refractive index from 1.55 to 1.70. Additionally, this reduction in decay time can be also due to an increased number of non-radiative channels with increasing Si content making contributions to the final emission decay as τ PL -1 = τ R -1 + τ NR -1. Similar results have been obtained when 488 nm was used as the excitation wavelength. Moreover, reduction in emission decay time has been observed when the excitation wavelength is changed. The emission decay time at 488 and 266 nm can be different when two different sites are excited at different wavelengths.