Erbium and ytterbium codoped double tungstates NaY(WO4)2 crystals were prepared by using Czochralski (CZ) pulling method. The absorption spectra in the region 290-2000 nm have been recorded at room temperature. The Judd-Ofelt theory was applied to the measured values of absorption line strengths to evaluate the spontaneous emission probabilities and stimulated emission cross sections of Er3+ ions in NaY(WO4)2 crystals. Intensive green and red lights were measured when the sample were pumped by a 974 nm laser diode (LD), especially, the intensities of green upconversion luminescence are very strong. The mechanism of energy transfer from Yb3+ to Er3+ ions was analyzed. Energy transfer and nonradiative relaxation played an important role in the upconversion process. Photoexcited luminescence experiments are also fulfilled to help analyzing the transit processes of the energy levels. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.