A pathway for achieving intense green light emitting LiGdF 4:Yb,Er upconversion nanophosphors (UCNPs) via Y3+ doping is demonstrated. It was revealed that Y3+ doping initiated the formation of a tetragonal phase and affected the particle size. Single tetragonal-phase LiGd0.4Y0.4F4:Yb(18%),Er(2%) (LGY0.4F:Yb,Er) UCNPs exhibited strong upconversion (UC) green luminescence and tetragonal bipyramidal morphologies. They showed 1325 and 325-fold higher photoluminescence intensity than the 0 and 80 mol% Y 3+-doped LiGdF4:Yb,Er UCNPs, respectively. Additionally the particle size (edge length) of LiGdF4:Yb,Er-based upconversion tetragonal bipyramids (UCTBs) was controlled from 60.5 nm to an ultrasmall size of 9.3 nm with varying Y3+ doping concentration. In an LGY 0.4F:Yb,Er UCTB, uniform distribution of all constituent elements was directly confirmed by using high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy and energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) image analyses. In particular, existence of activator Er3+ ions with extremely small quantity was clearly seen over a particle on the EFTEM image. Moreover, the LGY0.4F:Yb,Er UCTBs were successfully incorporated into the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer and the highly transparent UCTB-PDMS composites showed bright green light under the excitation of 980 nm infrared light.