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Ag-Sensitized NIR-Emitting Yb3+-Doped Glass-Ceramics

CNR-ISP Istituto di Scienze Polari, c/o campus scientifico Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, via Torino 155, 30172 Mestre-Venezia, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze Molecolari e Nanosistemi, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, via Torino 155, 30172 Mestre-Venezia, Italy
Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche “Enrico Fermi”, Piazza del Viminale 1, 00184 Roma, Italy
CNR-IFAC Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara, Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Firenze, Italy
Division of Materials Science, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 2184;
Received: 11 February 2020 / Revised: 9 March 2020 / Accepted: 14 March 2020 / Published: 23 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Glass-Ceramics: Fabrication, Properties and Applications)
The optical photoluminescent (PL) emission of Yb3+ ions in the near infrared (NIR) spectral region at about 950–1100 nm has many potential applications, from photovoltaics to lasers and visual devices. However, due to their simple energy-level structure, Yb3+ ions cannot directly absorb UV or visible light, putting serious limits on their use as light emitters. In this paper we describe a broadband and efficient strategy for sensitizing Yb3+ ions by Ag codoping, resulting in a strong 980 nm PL emission under UV and violet-blue light excitation. Yb-doped silica–zirconia–soda glass–ceramic films were synthesized by sol-gel and dip-coating, followed by annealing at 1000 °C. Ag was then introduced by ion-exchange in a molten salt bath for 1 h at 350 °C. Different post-exchange annealing temperatures for 1 h in air at 380 °C and 430 °C were compared to investigate the possibility of migration/aggregation of the metal ions. Studies of composition showed about 1–2 wt% Ag in the exchanged samples, not modified by annealing. Structural analysis reported the stabilization of cubic zirconia by Yb-doping. Optical measurements showed that, in particular for the highest annealing temperature of 430 °C, the potential improvement of the material’s quality, which would increase the PL emission, is less relevant than Ag-aggregation, which decreases the sensitizers number, resulting in a net reduction of the PL intensity. However, all the Ag-exchanged samples showed a broadband Yb3+ sensitization by energy transfer from Ag aggregates, clearly attested by a broad photoluminescence excitation spectra after Ag-exchange, paving the way for applications in various fields, such as solar cells and NIR-emitting devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: sol–gel; silica–zirconia; glass–ceramics; Ag nanoaggregates; Yb3+ ions; energy transfer; downshifting; photoluminescence sol–gel; silica–zirconia; glass–ceramics; Ag nanoaggregates; Yb3+ ions; energy transfer; downshifting; photoluminescence
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MDPI and ACS Style

Enrichi, F.; Cattaruzza, E.; Finotto, T.; Riello, P.; Righini, G.C.; Trave, E.; Vomiero, A. Ag-Sensitized NIR-Emitting Yb3+-Doped Glass-Ceramics. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 2184.

AMA Style

Enrichi F, Cattaruzza E, Finotto T, Riello P, Righini GC, Trave E, Vomiero A. Ag-Sensitized NIR-Emitting Yb3+-Doped Glass-Ceramics. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(6):2184.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Enrichi, Francesco, Elti Cattaruzza, Tiziano Finotto, Pietro Riello, Giancarlo C. Righini, Enrico Trave, and Alberto Vomiero. 2020. "Ag-Sensitized NIR-Emitting Yb3+-Doped Glass-Ceramics" Applied Sciences 10, no. 6: 2184.

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