Structural and optical properties of Er3+ doped SiO2-Al2O3-GeO2 compounds prepared by a simple route
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Samples of (1 - x)[0.70SiO(2) + 0.30Al(2)O(3)] + xGeO(2) compositions, containing x = 0.05, 0.10, 0.20, 0.30, 0.40 and 0.50, and doped with 1 mol% of Er3+, were prepared by a mixed route (sol gel process and Pechini method). Transparent gels were synthesized and homogeneous powders were obtained by heat treatments from 800 degrees C to 1050 degrees C. The final powders were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The optical properties were studied by photoluminescence measurements in the infrared region, and the average lifetime of the metastable state I-4(13/2) of Er3+ ions and the full-width at half maximum (FWHM) were determined. A silica-rich amorphous phase and nanocrystallites with orthorhombic structure of Al6Ge2O13 phase were obtained. The samples present a broad emission centered at around 1532 nm under excitation at 977 nm, with a FWHM of 53 nm and a lifetime of 5.6 ms. The synthesized compounds by an easy chemical procedure are potentially applicable in integrated optical systems. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.