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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(9), 6240-6254; doi:10.3390/ijms12096240

Preparation and Scintillating Properties of Sol-Gel Eu3+, Tb3+ Co-Doped Lu2O3 Nanopowders

1,* , 1
1 Instituto Politécnico Nacional, CIITEC IPN, Cerrada de Cecati S/N. Col. Santa Catarina, Azcapotzalco Mexico D.F. C.P. 02250, Mexico 2 CINVESTAV Querétaro, Libramiento Norponiente #2000, Fracc. Real de Juriquilla, C.P. 76230, Querétaro, Mexico
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 August 2011 / Revised: 14 September 2011 / Accepted: 20 September 2011 / Published: 23 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
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Nanocrystalline Eu3+, Tb3+ co-doped Lu2O3 powders with a maximum size of 25.5 nm were prepared by the sol-gel process, using lutetium, europium and terbium nitrates as precursors, and ethanol as a solvent. Differential thermal analysis (DTA) and infrared spectroscopy (IR) were used to study the chemical changes during the xerogel annealing. After the sol evaporation at 100 °C, the formed gel was annealed from 300 to 900 °C for 30 min under a rich O2 atmosphere, and the yielded product was analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) to characterize the microstructural behavior and confirm the crystalline structure. The results showed that Lu2O3 nanopowders start to crystallize at 400 °C and that the crystallite size increases along with the annealing temperature. A transmission electron microscopy (TEM) study of samples annealed at 700 and 900 °C was carried out in order to analyze the microstructure, as well as the size, of crystallites. Finally, in regard to scintillating properties, Eu3+ dopant (5 mol%), Tb3+ codoped Lu2O3 exhibited a typical red emission at 611 nm (Do7F2), furthermore, the effect of Tb3+ molar content (0.01, 0.015 and 0.02% mol) on the Eu3+ radioluminiscence was analyzed and it was found that the higher emission intensity corresponds to the lower Tb3+ content.
Keywords: sol-gel; nanopowders; Lu2O3:Eu3+-Tb3+; scintillation properties sol-gel; nanopowders; Lu2O3:Eu3+-Tb3+; scintillation properties
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ramírez, Á.J.M.; Murillo, A.G.; Romo, F.J.C.; Hernández, M.G.; Palmerin, J.M.; Guerrero, R.R. Preparation and Scintillating Properties of Sol-Gel Eu3+, Tb3+ Co-Doped Lu2O3 Nanopowders. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 6240-6254.

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