In this work we report on the thermoluminescence (TL) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) properties of β-Na(Gd,Lu)F4:Tb3+ nanophosphors prepared via a standard high-temperature coprecipitation route. Irradiating this phosphor with X-rays not only produces radioluminescence but also leads to a bright green afterglow that is detectable up to hours after excitation has stopped. The storage capacity of the phosphor was found to be (2.83 ± 0.05) × 1016 photons/gram, which is extraordinarily high for nano-sized particles and comparable to the benchmark bulk phosphor SrAl2O4:Eu2+,Dy3+. By combining TL with OSL, we show that the relatively shallow traps, which dominate the TL glow curves and are responsible for the bright afterglow, can also be emptied optically using 808 or 980 nm infrared light while the deeper traps can only be emptied thermally. This OSL at therapeutically relevant radiation doses is of high interest to the medical dosimetry community, and is demonstrated here in uniform, solution-processable nanocrystals.
Keywords: dosimetry; nanophosphor; optically stimulated luminescence; persistent phosphors; thermoluminescence.