Luminescence dependence of Pr3+ activated SiO2 nanophosphor on Pr3+ concentration, temperature, and ZnO incorporation

G. H. Mhlongo, O. M. Ntwaeaborwa, H. C. Swart, R. E. Kroon, P. Solarz, W. Ryba-Romanowski, K. T. Hillie

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Green-emitting ZnO nanoparticles were successfully embedded in Pr 3+-doped SiO2 by a sol-gel method resulting in a red-emitting ZnO•SiO2:Pr3+ nanocomposite phosphor. The particle morphology and luminescent properties of SiO2:Pr 3+ phosphor powders, with or without ZnO nanoparticles, were, respectively, investigated by electron microscopy and luminescence spectroscopy. Luminescence of SiO2:Pr3+ was studied as a function of different Pr3+ concentrations and temperature. Both Pr3+ concentration and temperature were found to influence the 1D 2 emission from Pr3+ strongly. Defects emission from ZnO nanoparticles was measured at 517 nm compared with the normal peak at 470 nm from micrometer-sized ZnO powders. Only red emission at 614 nm from Pr 3+ ions in SiO2:Pr3+ and ZnO•SiO 2:Pr3+ was observed. The green emission from ZnO in ZnO•SiO2:Pr3+ was quenched, and the red emission from Pr3+ was doubly enhanced compared with SiO2:Pr 3+. The enhancement of the PL intensity from SiO2:Pr 3+ with ZnO incorporation denotes the presence of energy transfer from ZnO to Pr3+ ions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17625-17632
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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