Effect of citric acid on material properties of ZnGa2O4:Cr3+ nanopowder prepared by sol–gel method
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This paper reports the material properties of Cr3+ (1.0 mol%)-doped ZnGa2O4 nanopowders prepared by citric acid-assisted sol–gel method with metal cations (Zn + Ga) to citric (M:CA) molar ratios of (1:0.5, 1:1, 1:3 and 1:4). The X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show that the synthesized nanoparticles are cubic structured and concentration of citric acid did not affect the structure. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) shows that the increase of the M:CA molar ratio favors the formation of smaller nano particle of ZnGa2O4:Cr3+. The photoluminescence (PL) is found to be maximum for sample with M:CA ratio of 1:1. Further increase in citric acid leads to significant decrease in the PL intensity. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) measurement confirms the presence of the Zn, Ga, O and Cr ions. Ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) spectrophotometer measurement shows an increase in reflectance in visible region and the energy band gap was found to decrease with an increase in citric acid molar ratio. The emission spectra, particle size and photoluminescence lifetimes are comparable with reports on bioimaging applications.
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support given by the directorate of the research at University of the Free State (South Africa).
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