Sensing temperature via downshifting emissions of lanthanide-doped metal oxides and salts. A review
Temperature is important because it has an effect on even the tiniest elements of daily life and is involved in a broad spectrum of human activities. That is why it is the most commonly measured physical quantity. Traditional temperature measurements encounter difficulties when used in some emerging technologies and environments, such as nanotechnology and biomedicine. The problem may be alleviated using optical techniques, one of which is luminescence thermometry. This paper reviews the state of luminescence thermometry and presents different temperature read-out schemes with an emphasis on those utilizing the downshifting emission of lanthanide-doped metal oxides and salts. The read-out schemes for temperature include those based on measurements of spectral characteristics of luminescence (band positions and shapes, emission intensity and ratio of emission intensities), and those based on measurements of the temporal behavior of luminescence (lifetimes and rise times). This review (w...ith 140 references) gives the basics of the fundamental principles and theory that underlie the methods presented, and describes the methodology for the estimation of their performance. The major part of the text is devoted to those lanthanide-doped metal oxides and salts that are used as temperature probes, and to the comparison of their performance and characteristics.