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Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 530;

Transparent Sol-Gel Oxyfluoride Glass-Ceramics with High Crystalline Fraction and Study of RE Incorporation

Instituto de Cerámica y Vidrio, CSIC, 28049 Madrid, Spain
FunGlass—Centre for Functional and Surface Functionalized Glass, Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín, Trenčín 91150, Slovakia
SpLine, Spanish CRG Beamline—European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), 38043 Grenoble, France
Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, CSIC, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Departamento Física de Materiales, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), 28049 Madrid, Spain
Departamento Física Aplica I, Escuela Superior de Ingeniería, Universidad del País Vasco (UPV-EHU), 48013 Bilbao, Spain
Centro de Física de Materiales, (UPV/EHU-CSIC), 20018 San Sebastian, Spain
Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), 20018 San Sebastian, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rare Earth Doped Materials at the Nanoscale)
PDF [3175 KB, uploaded 3 April 2019]


Transparent oxyfluoride glass-ceramic films and self-supported layers with composition 80SiO2-20LaF3 doped with Er3+ have been successfully synthesized by sol-gel process for the first time. Crack-free films and self-supported layer with a maximum thickness up to 1.4 µm were obtained after heat treatment at the low temperature of 550 °C for 1 min, resulting in a LaF3 crystal fraction of 18 wt%, as confirmed by quantitative Rietveld refinement. This is the highest value reported up to now for transparent oxyfluoride glass-ceramics prepared by sol-gel. This work provides a new synthesis strategy and opens the way to a wide range of potential applications of oxyfluoride glass-ceramics. The characterization by a wide range of techniques revealed the homogeneous precipitation of LaF3 nanocrystals into the glass matrix. X-ray absorption spectroscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance confirmed that the Er3+ ions are preferentially embedded in the low phonon-energy LaF3 nanocrystals. Moreover, photoluminescence (PL) measurements confirmed the incorporation of dopants in the LaF3 nanocrystals. The effective concentration of rare-earth ions in the LaF3 nanocrystals is also estimated by X-ray absorption spectroscopy. View Full-Text
Keywords: glass-ceramic; oxyfluoride; rare-earth; crystallization; sol-gel glass-ceramic; oxyfluoride; rare-earth; crystallization; sol-gel

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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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Gorni, G.; Velázquez, J.J.; Mosa, J.; Mather, G.C.; Serrano, A.; Vila, M.; Castro, G.R.; Bravo, D.; Balda, R.; Fernández, J.; Durán, A.; Castro, Y. Transparent Sol-Gel Oxyfluoride Glass-Ceramics with High Crystalline Fraction and Study of RE Incorporation. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 530.

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