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Tailoring Upconversion and Morphology of Yb/Eu Doped Y2O3 Nanostructures by Acid Composition Mediation

i3N/CENIMAT, Department of Materials Science, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and CEMOP/UNINOVA, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
INCM, Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, Av. António José de Almeida, 1000-042 Lisboa, Portugal
SINTEF Materials Physics, Forskningvein 1, 0373 Oslo, Norway
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(2), 234;
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 9 February 2019
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The present study reports the production of upconverter nanostructures composed by a yttrium oxide host matrix co-doped with ytterbium and europium, i.e., Y2O3:Yb3+/Eu3+. These nanostructures were formed through the dissociation of yttrium, ytterbium and europium oxides using acetic, hydrochloric and nitric acids, followed by a fast hydrothermal method assisted by microwave irradiation and subsequent calcination process. Structural characterization has been carried out by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) both coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The acid used for dissociation of the primary oxides played a crucial role on the morphology of the nanostructures. The acetic-based nanostructures resulted in nanosheets in the micrometer range, with thickness of around 50 nm, while hydrochloric and nitric resulted in sphere-shaped nanostructures. The produced nanostructures revealed a homogeneous distribution of the doping elements. The thermal behaviour of the materials has been investigated with in situ X-Ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) experiments. Moreover, the optical band gaps of all materials were determined from diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and their photoluminescence behaviour has been accessed showing significant differences depending on the acid used, which can directly influence their upconversion performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: microwave synthesis; oxide dissociation; doping; rare earth ions; upconversion microwave synthesis; oxide dissociation; doping; rare earth ions; upconversion

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Nunes, D.; Pimentel, A.; Matias, M.; Freire, T.; Araújo, A.; Silva, F.; Gaspar, P.; Garcia, S.; Carvalho, P.A.; Fortunato, E.; Martins, R. Tailoring Upconversion and Morphology of Yb/Eu Doped Y2O3 Nanostructures by Acid Composition Mediation. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 234.

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