APTES-Modified RE2O3:Eu3+ Luminescent Beads: Structure and Properties
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Europium-doped lanthanide oxide RE2O3:Eu3+ (RE = Y or Gd) luminescent beads, with a spherical shape and a diameter of 150 +/- 15 nm, have been modified by reaction with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES), in order to introduce reactive amine groups at their surfaces. The direct silanation has resulted in the formation of a nanometric layer at the surface of the beads, with an optimum grafting rate of 0.055 +/- 0.005 mol APTES/mol RE2O3. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron (XPS) spectroscopies confirmed the condensation of an organosilane layer, made of cross-linked -O-Si-O-Si- and of groups -O-Si-R (with R = (CH2)(3)NH2 or O-Et). Titration of the accessible amine groups has been performed by simultaneously measuring the luminescence of grafted fluorescein isothiocyanate and that of core particles: there are about 2.3 X 10(4) (2.8 X 10(4)) -NH2 per Y2O3:Eu3+ (Gd2O3:Eu3+) bead. The isoelectronic point was shifted by one pH unit after APTES modification. The surface modification by APTES at least preserved (for Gd2O3:Eu3+) or improved (for Y2O3:Eu3+) the red emission of the beads.