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Optical Studies of Europium-Doped ZnO Nanoparticles Prepared by Sol–Gel Technique

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In this study we have successfully synthesized undoped and Eu3+ ion doped ZnO nanoparticles through simple and inexpensive sol–gel technique. X-ray Diffraction results revealed that increasing europium concentration from 0 to 0.3 mole%, a gradual increment in lattice parameters followed by the reduction in average crystallite size from 20 nm to 13 nm is observed, indicating a successful incorporation of Eu+3 in ZnO. The positions of the main diffraction peaks shift to the lower 2 angles and show broadening, with the increasing europium content. It is concluded that the strain in the ZnO nanoparticles caused by the incorporation of a larger Eu3+ ion than Zn2+ cation. Average particle size evaluated from Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) observations showed approximate value of 40–45 nm, with spherical morphology for all the samples. FT-IR spectroscopic measurement showed a standard peak of Zn—O at 553 cm–1. The optical direct bandgap were 3.21–3.23 eV for Eu-doped ZnO and 3.19 eV for pure ZnO nanoparticles. This difference can result from variations in carrier concentrations and carrier scattering by microstructural defects and ionic impurities. Photoluminescence spectroscopic results indicates the presence of red peak ∼618 nm is due to 4f–4f intra-shell transition of 5D0 → 7F2, confirms the incorporation of Eu3+ in to wurtzite ZnO host by substitution on the Zn sub lattice. This work has proved the possibility of incorporating Eu3+ ions into ZnO nanoparticles with high crystallinity and realized the energy transfer from ZnO host to Eu3+ ions, which would be helpful in optoelectronics and color display device applications.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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  • Journal of Advanced Physics is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating research activities in all experimental and theoretical aspects of advanced physics. The journal aims in publishing articles of novel and frontier physics that merit the attention and interest of the whole physics community. JAP publishes review articles, full research articles, short communications of important new scientific and technological findings in all latest research aspects of physics.
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