White and yellow light emission from ZrO2:Dy3+ nanocrystals synthesized by a facile chemical technique
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White and yellow light were obtained from ZrO2:Dy3+ nanocrystals which were synthesized by the solvent evaporation technique. The crystalline structure was studied by X-ray diffraction, resulting in a tetragonal and monoclinic mixture phases of ZrO2 when the powders were annealed at 600 °C and the zirconia monoclinic phase when they were thermal treated at 1000 °C. By means of atomic force microscopy images was observed that the synthesized powders are constituted by nanocrystals about 20 nm for the samples annealed at 600 °C, whereas samples annealed at 1000 °C were constituted by crystals about 135 nm, these features were confirmed by TEM images. Luminescence properties were analyzed by means of photo and cathodoluminescence; exhibiting emissions in the white light region of the chromatic diagram. In the case of photoluminescence white-warm color (x = 0.35, y = 0.37) was observed, which is close to pure white color; while for cathodoluminescence the emission was yellowish with coordinates (x = 0.39, y = 0.39) in the chromatic diagram. PL decay time measurements were carried out; a lifetime of 0.66 ms was found. In addition, the PL quantum efficiency was measured; the obtained value was as high as 45%.
The authors thank to Adriana Tejeda for the XRD measurements and to Daniel de Jesús Araujo Perez for their for the XRD analysis, to Omar Novelo for the SEM micrographs, to Josué Romero for TEM images, Carlos Flores for the AFM images and to Marcela Guerrero, Zacarías Rivera, Raúl Reyes and Alberto López for their technical support.
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