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Erratum published on 29 January 2019, see Micromachines 2019, 10(2), 98.
Open AccessArticle

Ag-Sensitized Yb3+ Emission in Glass-Ceramics

1
Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche “Enrico Fermi”, Roma 00184, Italy
2
Division of Materials Science, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå 97187, Sweden
3
Dipartimento di Scienze Molecolari e Nanosistemi, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Mestre 30172, Venezia, Italy
4
Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IFN-CNR), Laboratorio CSMFO and Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) Photonics Unit, Povo 38123, Trento, Italy
5
Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IFAC-CNR), Sesto Fiorentino 50019, Firenze, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2018, 9(8), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9080380
Received: 5 July 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glassy Materials Based Microdevices)
Rare earth doped materials play a very important role in the development of many photonic devices, such as optical amplifiers and lasers, frequency converters, solar concentrators, up to quantum information storage devices. Among the rare earth ions, ytterbium is certainly one of the most frequently investigated and employed. The absorption and emission properties of Yb3+ ions are related to transitions between the two energy levels 2F7/2 (ground state) and 2F5/2 (excited state), involving photon energies around 1.26 eV (980 nm). Therefore, Yb3+ cannot directly absorb UV or visible light, and it is often used in combination with other rare earth ions like Pr3+, Tm3+, and Tb3+, which act as energy transfer centres. Nevertheless, even in those co-doped materials, the absorption bandwidth can be limited, and the cross section is small. In this paper, we report a broadband and efficient energy transfer process between Ag dimers/multimers and Yb3+ ions, which results in a strong PL emission around 980 nm under UV light excitation. Silica-zirconia (70% SiO2-30% ZrO2) glass-ceramic films doped by 4 mol.% Yb3+ ions and an additional 5 mol.% of Na2O were prepared by sol-gel synthesis followed by a thermal annealing at 1000 °C. Ag introduction was then obtained by ion-exchange in a molten salt bath and the samples were subsequently annealed in air at 430 °C to induce the migration and aggregation of the metal. The structural, compositional, and optical properties were investigated, providing evidence for efficient broadband sensitization of the rare earth ions by energy transfer from Ag dimers/multimers, which could have important applications in different fields, such as PV solar cells and light-emitting near-infrared (NIR) devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: sol-gel; Ag nanoaggregates; Yb3+ ions; down-shifting; photonic microdevices sol-gel; Ag nanoaggregates; Yb3+ ions; down-shifting; photonic microdevices
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MDPI and ACS Style

Enrichi, F.; Cattaruzza, E.; Ferrari, M.; Gonella, F.; Ottini, R.; Riello, P.; Righini, G.C.; Enrico, T.; Vomiero, A.; Zur, L. Ag-Sensitized Yb3+ Emission in Glass-Ceramics. Micromachines 2018, 9, 380.

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