Transparent oxyfluoride nano-glass-ceramics (GCs) containing NaGdF4 nanocrystals doped with 0.1Pr3+and 0.5Pr3+, and co-doped with 0.5Pr3+-2Yb3+ ions (mol%) were obtained by melting-quenching followed by heat treatments at temperatures near Tg. The addition of rare-earths (RE) ions affects the crystallization kinetics due to the progressive increase of Tg as RE concentration increases. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) show the precipitation of NaGdF4 nanocrystals with sizes between 9 and 30 nm. The crystal size increases with the increasing amount of dopant. Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis confirms the incorporation of the RE ions in the fluoride nanocrystals in the glass-ceramics. This incorporation is also supported by optical characterization. Photoluminescence measurements shows a better resolved structure together with a narrowing of the Pr3+ emission and excitation spectra in the glass–ceramics compared to the precursor glass. The emission spectra and fluorescence decay curves from the 3P0 level of Pr3+ in the codoped samples support the existence of a Pr3+ → Yb3+ energy transfer with slight enhancement of the energy transfer efficiency in the GC sample.
Velázquez, J. J., Balda, R., Fernández, J., Gorni, G., Pascual, L., Chen, G., … Pascual, M. J. (2018). Transparent oxyfluoride glass-ceramics with NaGdF4 nanocrystals doped with Pr3+ and Pr3+-Yb3+. Journal of Luminescence, 193, 61–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jlumin.2017.07.034