Influence of UV irradiation and heat treatment on the luminescence of molecular silver clusters in photo-thermo-refractive glasses
The luminescence spectra of photo-thermo-refractive (PTR) glasses containing cerium, silver, and antimony ions before and after UV irradiation and after heat treatment have been thoroughly investigated for the first time. It is shown that silver is present in the initial PTR glass in the form of ions and positively charged molecular clusters. After UV irradiation into the absorption band of cerium ions, silver partially passes to the neutral state in the form of atoms and neutral molecular clusters Ag2, Ag3, and Ag4, which exhibit bright luminescence in the visible spectral range. Subsequent heat treatment at a temperature below the glassformation temperature leads to an increase in the luminescence intensity due to the increase in the concentration of neutral molecular clusters. Heat treatment at a temperature above the glass-formation temperature leads to the formation of silver nanocrystals and luminescence quenching. It is proposed to use PTR glasses with molecular silver clusters as phosphors for converting UV radiation into the visible range for solar power engineering and white LEDs.
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