In flame spray pyrolysis (FSP), the generation of uniform nanoparticles can be quite challenging due to difficulties in controlling droplet sizes during liquid spraying and uneven flame temperature. Here, we report a method to produce relatively uniform nanocrystals of a Tb3+ doped Y2O3 phosphor. In ethanol, metal nitrate precursors were simply mixed with organic surfactants to form a homogeneous solution which was then subjected to FSP. Depending on relative concentrations of the surfactant (oleic acid) to the metal precursors (yttrium and terbium nitrates), different sizes and morphologies of Y2O3:Tb3+ particles were obtained. By adjusting the surfactant concentration, Y2O3:Tb3+ crystals as small as 20~25 nm were acquired. X-ray diffraction and transmittance electron microscopy were used to prove that as-synthesized nanoparticles were highly crystalline due to the high temperature of FSP. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that terbium dopants were well distributed throughout Y2O3 particles and a small portion of carbonate impurities were remained on the surface of particles, presumably originated from incomplete combustion of the organic surfactants. Photoluminescence (PL) spectra of Y2O3:Tb3+ nanocrystals exhibited a green light emission ensuring that the terbium doping was successfully occurred. However, when post-annealing was performed on the nanocrystals, their PL was dramatically enhanced indicating that quenching centers such as carbonate impurities and surface defects may have been removed by the annealing process. Owing to the continuous processability of FSP, this current method can be a practical way to produce nanoparticles in a large quantity. The obtained Y2O3:Tb3+ nanocrystals were used to fabricate a transparent film with poly-ethylene-co-vinyl acetate (poly-EVA) polymer, which was suitable for a spectral converting layer for a solar cell. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Modelling and Simulation
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics