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Influence of Composition, Doping Concentration and Annealing Temperatures on Optical Properties of Eu3+-Doped ZnO–SiO2 Nanocomposites

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We report the influence of Eu3+ doping concentration, ZnO content as well as annealing temperature on optical properties and micro structures of ZnO–SiO2 nanocomposites. Thin layers of ZnO–SiO2 nanocomposites with various compositions doped with different Eu3+ concentrations were prepared by sol–gel method and spin-coating process. The structure and morphology of the thin films as a function of annealing temperature were studied and analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XDR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Upon annealing temperatures above 1000 °C, we observed a coexistence of hexagonal structure of ZnO and willemite structure of Zn2SiO4. The Eu3+-related photoluminescence (PL) spectra vary with doping concentration, ZnO composition and the heat treatment process. The domination of emission peak at 613 nm assigned for 5D0-7F2 transition of Eu3+ ions indicates a majority of optically active Eu3+ ions locating at low symmetry sites in the ZnO–SiO2 hosting materials in the thin films. Energy transfer processes upon photon absorptions within ZnO nanocrystals and Eu3+ ions are investigated via photoluminescence excitation spectra in the range of excitation wavelengths from 250 to 450 nm. The decrease of Eu3+-related PL intensity happens in coincidence with the formation of the willemite structure of Zn2SiO4 at higher annealing temperatures.
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Keywords: Energy Transfer; Eu3+ Ions; Photoluminescence; Thermal Quenching; ZnO–SiO2 Nanocomposite

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: International Training Institute for Material Science (ITIMS), Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST), Hanoi, 100000, Vietnam

Publication date: 01 August 2016

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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