, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 57-63
Date: 10 Oct 2006

Characterisation of a new sol-gel precursor for a SiO2 -rhodamine 6G hybrid class II material

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Abstract

The entrapment of organic dyes in inorganic solids offers several advantage for solid-state laser applications with respect to the use of liquid or polymer hosts. Among the various inorganic hosts, silica is preferred for its superior mechanical, thermal and optical properties. Organic dyes, such as Rhodamine 6G (Rh6G), can be immobilised in SiO2 both physically (materials of class I), and by covalent bonds (class II materials). In the past years Rh6G-SiO2 class I hybrids were prepared. In this work we propose, for the first time, a Rh6G-SiO2 class II hybrids. We describe the preparation of a suitable sol-gel Rh6G precursor verified by FT-IR analysis and report the characterization of the hybrid materials by means of thermal and porosimetric analysis and optical spectroscopy measurements. The precursor is thermally stable up to ∼250°C, and its optical characteristics (UV-VIS absorbance and photoluminescence, PL) do not change with respect to those of the pristine dye molecule. The PL spectra of the final hybrids show that they are promising candidates for applications in solid state dye lasers.