Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Nanocrystalline up-converting Y₂O₃:Yb³⁺, Er³⁺ phosphor particles were processed in a dispersed system-aerosol, generated ultrasonically at 1.3 MHz from common nitrate precursor solution having fixed ytterbium-to-erbium concentration ratio. The appropriate process parameters: residence time 21 s, carrier gas (air) flow rate 1.6 dm3/min, synthesis temperature 900 °C, led to the formation of un-agglomerated spherical nanostructured secondary particles, having mean particle size of approx 450 nm, composed of primary nanoscaled (20 nm) subunits. In order to reach targeting phase crystallinity, the as-prepared particles were additionally annealed at 1100 °C in air for 12, 24 and 48 h, respectively. Particle structure, morphology and purity were analyzed by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), scanning electron microscopy (FESEM/SEM), analytical and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM/HRTEM) in combination with energy dispersive X-ray analysis and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). All samples crystallized in a cubic bixbyte-structure, space group Ia-3. The crystallite size changed with annealing time from 30 nm in as-prepared sample to 135 nm in sample annealed for 48 h, respectively. Emission spectra were assigned to the following trivalent erbium f&-f electronic transitions: ²H₉/₂ → ⁴I₁₅/₂ (blue: 407&-420 nm), (²H₁₁/₂, ⁴S₃/₂) → ⁴I₁₅/₂ (green: 510&-590 nm), and ⁴F₉/₂ → ⁴I₁₅/₂ (red: 640&-720 nm). The significant improvement of the emission decay times were observed after thermal treatment and this effect is correlated further with the structural and morphological particles characteristics. For the annealing time of 12 h a quite high emission decay times were achieved (blue: 0.14 ms, green: 0.32 ms and red: 0.39 ms).
aerosol processing; nanoparticles; y2o3; up-conversion; decay time