Synthesis and luminescence properties of Eu(III)-doped nanoporous silica spheres.
ABSTRACT Europium (III) (Eu(3+))-doped nanoporous silica spheres were synthesized, and the states of Eu(3+) ions in the silica framework structure were investigated. The ordered nanopores were preserved with the doping at the Eu(3+) molar concentration to Si up to 10 mol%, and the O-Si-O and Si-OH groups in the structures were clearly rearranged with the doping, indicating the interaction of Eu(3+) with the O atoms. The significant morphological changes in the spheres were observed with the doping. The photoluminescence spectral shapes due to the transitions of (5)D(0)-(7)F(1) and (5)D(0)-(7)F(2) were indicative of the presence of the Eu(3+) in an environment of a low symmetry. It was found that the Eu(3+) was located inside the silica framework to electrostatically interact with the environmental O atoms, which would prevent the aggregation among Eu(3+) ions to show the efficient luminescence. Therefore, the interactions between the Eu(3+) ions and silica framework structures in the spheres were successfully clarified.