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Photon management properties of Yb-doped SnO2 nanoparticles synthesized by the sol–gel technique

Abstract : SnO2 is a transparent large band gap semiconductor, particularly interesting for optoelectronic and photovoltaic devices, mainly because its conduction can be easily tuned by doping or by modulating the amount of oxygen vacancies. Besides, rare earth doping was successfully exploited for up conversion properties. Here we report on the functionalization of SnO2 nanoparticles with optically active Yb3+ ions using the sol–gel method, which allows UV to NIR spectral (down) conversion. As starting solutions we used stable non-alkoxide metal–organic compounds, which is rather uncommon. Transmission electron microscopy analysis demonstrated the formation of small well-crystallized nanoparticles while X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements have revealed that the Yb is well inserted in the host matrix and has a 3+ valence state. All nanoparticles present large absorption in the UV-visible range (250 to 550 nm) and a band gap that decreases down to 2.72 eV upon doping. The UV energy converted into NIR on the basis of efficient energy transfer from SnO2 to the Yb3+ ions ranges between 250 and 400 nm. Reference undoped SnO2 nanoparticles with a mean size of 20 nm allow converting UV light into broad visible emission centered at 650 nm. The incorporation of up to 3.5 at% of Yb3+ ions into the SnO2 host matrix results in a spectacular decrease of the nanoparticle size down to 6.6 nm. This allowed also the shift of the photoluminescence to NIR in the 970–1050 nm range. The energy level structure of Yb3+ in SnO2 was successfully determined from the deconvolution of the Yb emission. This emission is significantly enhanced by increasing the doping level. All optical measurements suggest that these nanoparticles can be efficiently used as down-shifting converters.
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Contributor : Jean-Luc Rehspringer <>
Submitted on : Thursday, November 28, 2019 - 4:33:52 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 30, 2021 - 10:22:22 AM



Karima Bouras, Guy Schmerber, Damien Aureau, Hervé Rinnert, Jean-Luc Rehspringer, et al.. Photon management properties of Yb-doped SnO2 nanoparticles synthesized by the sol–gel technique. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019, 21 (38), pp.21407-21417. ⟨10.1039/c9cp01993f⟩. ⟨hal-02385158⟩



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