Herein we presented hydrolytic sol-gel synthesis and photoluminescent properties of Eu3+-doped Gd2Ti2O7 pyrochlore nanopowders. According to Gd2Ti2O7 precursor gel thermal analysis a temperature of 840°C is identified for the formation of the crystalline pyrochlore phase. Obtained samples were systematically characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. The powders consist of well-crystalline cubic nanocrystallites of approximately 20 nm in size as evidenced from X-ray diffraction. The scanning and transmission electron microscopy shows that investigated Eu3+-doped Gd2Ti2O7 nanopowders consist of compact, dense aggregates composed entirely of nanoparticles with variable both shape and dimension. The influence of Eu3+ ions concentration on the optical properties, namely, photoluminescence emission and decay time, is measured and discussed. Emission intensity as a function of Eu3+ ions concentration shows that Gd2Ti2O7 host can accept Eu3+ ions in concentrations up to 10 at.%. On the other hand, lifetime values are similar up to 3 at.% (2.7 ms) and experience decrease at higher concentrations (2.4 ms for 10 at.% Eu3+). Moreover, photoluminescent spectra and lifetime values clearly revealed presence of structural defects in sol-gel derived materials proposing photoluminescent spectroscopy as a sensitive tool for monitoring structural changes in both steady state and lifetime domains.
Ćulubrk, S., Antić, Ž., Lojpur, V., Marinović-Cincović, M., & Dramićanin, M. D. (2015). Sol-gel derived Eu3+-doped Gd2Ti2O7 pyrochlore nanopowders. Journal of Nanomaterials, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/514173