Suman Rani, Bansi Lal*, Sumit Saxena and Shobha Shukla Pages 353 - 361 ( 9 )
Background: The characteristic visible emission from ZnO being attributed to the defect energy states can be tailored by doping as well as by synthesis techniques. Rare-earth elements, among various dopants, are interesting because of their unique emission properties in the visible region. Terbium (Tb), in particular, is reported to contribute significantly to the creation of the defect energy states when doped in ZnO. This study investigated the Tb concentration dependent modifications in the structural and optical properties of ZnO nanophosphor.
Methods: Tb (0.1, 0.5, 01.0 mol%) doped nanophosphor powder samples prepared by low temperature precipitation method, were sintered in air at 700oC using a home-built temperature controlled (±1oC) muffle furnace. Powder XRD and EDX spectra at room temperature were recorded using Philips X perts x-ray spectrometer while Jeol JSM-7600F was used to record SEM images. Photoluminescence spectra excited by the 280, 300, 380 and 460nm radiation from a Xe lamp were recorded using Carry 8000 spectrophotometer. Raman spectra excited by 514.5nm radiation from an Ar-ion laser, was investigated using Morrison microscope Olympus Bx 41 while UV-VIS absorption spectra were recorded on UV- 1800 UV-VIS Spectrophotometer.
Results: FTIR and XRD spectra showed that the basic ZnO wurtzite crystal structure remained unchanged on doping. However, XRD data analysis indicated that the 0.1 mol% Tb might be incorporated in ZnO unit cell at an interstitial and / or substitutional site(s) while at 0.5 and 1.0 mol% doping levels migration of Tb to the surface could be the dominant process. This was further confirmed by Raman and photoluminescence studies. Broad emission (122nm FWHM) peaking around 510nm was observed when the doped samples were excited with 280 and 300nm radiation while characteristic ZnO emission was observed with 380 and 460nm radiation. The calculated chromaticity color coordinates (x,y) of the emission excited by 280nm in 0.5 mol% doped ZnO were: x=0.29 and y=0.31, which are very close to those of the daylight at noon.
Conclusion: Concentration dependent lattice distortions were observed; it was concluded that at 0.1mol% concentration level Tb was incorporated in ZnO lattice resulting in interstitial or substitutional defects. On the other hand, at 0.5 and 1.0 mol% doping levels diffusion of Tb to the surface producing strain due to "hydrostatic like pressure" seemed to be the dominating process; maximum strain was observed at 0.5mol% doping. The calculated chromaticity color coordinates of the 280nm excited emission from ZnO:Tb (0.5mol%) were found to be very close to those of the "day light at noon” indicating the suitability of the material for the realization of white light sources.
Ceramics, Zinc Oxide, terbium, optical materials, luminescence, white light sources.
Department of Physics, School of Sciences, Lovely Professional University, Punjab-144411, Center for Lasers and Photonics, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur-208016, Nanostructures Engineering and Modeling Laboratory, Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science, IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai-400076, Nanostructures Engineering and Modeling Laboratory, Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science, IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai-400076