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

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

1
,
1,* , 1
,
1
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2
 and
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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Abstract

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 3.0).

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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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