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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 848274, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/848274
Research Article

Effective Red Compensation of  :  Phosphor by Codoping Ions and Its Energy Transfer

College of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Technology, Jiangsu, Nanjing 210009, China

Received 15 August 2012; Accepted 28 September 2012

Academic Editor: Su Chen

Copyright © 2012 Le Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Mn2+ ions codoped Sr2SiO4 : Dy3+ phosphors were prepared by the solid-state reaction method using NH4Cl as the flux. Their phase compositions, photoluminescence properties, and the energy transfer process were systematically investigated. All Mn/Dy codoped powders were ′-Sr2SiO4. The codoping concentration range of Mn2+ was  mol% to keep the structure undamaged. The broad red emission of Mn2+ centered at 647 nm in Sr2SiO4 : Mn, Dy powders, which effectively compensated the red emission of Sr2SiO4 : Dy3+ phosphor. The CIE chromaticity coordinates dramatically changed from (0.310, 0.340) to (0.332, 0.326) due to the red enhancement via the energy transfer from Dy3+ to Mn2+. This energy transfer is realized by the exchange interaction. But the luminescence quenching of Sr2SiO4 : Dy, Mn phosphor was mainly caused by the electric multipoles interaction. The concentration optimized (Sr0.96, Mn0.02, Dy0.02)2SiO4 phosphor with high and almost pure white emission has great potential to act as a single-matrix white phosphor for white LEDs.

1. Introduction

White light emitting diodes have attracted more attention due to their potential applications in extensive fields, such as device indicators, backlight, automobile headlights, and general illumination [14]. Current white LEDs are composed of blue-emitting GaN chip and yellow-emitting YAG : Ce phosphor. However, YAG : Ce has a deficient red emission, leading the white LEDs to have a low color rendering index (CRI < 80) [5]. To enrich the red emission, the phosphor blend of YAG : Ce and a red emitting phosphor is generally applied [6, 7]. Another technology is the combination of tricolor phosphors with an UV-LED chip. The above phosphor mixtures give fluorescence reabsorption and nonuniformity of luminescence properties, resulting in a loss of luminous efficiency and time-dependent shift of the color point. Therefore, a single-phase phosphor with direct white light emission is desirable [811].

At present, the most of this kind phosphors have at least two luminescent centers, such as Eu2+/Mn2+ [3, 12, 13], Ce3+/Eu2+ [8], or Eu2+ (in different lattice sites) [9]. As the natural white light emission ions, Dy3+ ions have two dominant emission bands of blue (485 nm, 4F9/26H15/2) and yellow (570 nm, 4F9/26H13/2) [14, 15]. Recently, Dy3+ doped alkaline earth orthosilicates (Sr2SiO4 : Dy3+) powders have attracted much attention due to its excellent emission characteristic, single luminescent center, and high absorption efficiency in the UV region [1618]. This phosphor can emit white light with CIE chromaticity coordinates (0.310, 0.340). However, there is still a gap comparing with the pure white light (0.330, 0.330) due to the weak red emission at ~665 nm. Predictably, the compensation of red light will effectively reduce this gap and enhance the CRI and then obtain warm white light.

As known, Mn2+ ions can effectively absorb UV light and then emit different colors from green to deep red depending on the surrounding crystal field strength [19]. Red or white phosphors were successfully obtained by adjusting the concentration ratios of Mn2+/Dy3+ or Eu2+/Dy3+ [2022]. Therefore, there is reason to believe that the 3 configured Mn2+ ions may effectively compensate the red emission of Sr2SiO4 : Dy3+ phosphor as a red-emitting center with suitable doping concentration.

In this paper, Dy3+ and Mn2+ ions codoped Sr2SiO4 powders were prepared by the solid-state reaction method using 5 wt% NH4Cl as the flux. The phase compositions and luminescence properties of prepared powders were systematically investigated as well as the energy transfer process from Dy3+ to Mn2+. It was found that the broad emission band of Mn2+ centered at 650 nm was observed from Sr2SiO4 : Mn2+, Dy3+ powders. The energy transfer from Dy3+ to Mn2+ dramatically changed the CIE chromaticity coordinates from (0.310, 0.340) to (0.332, 0.326). Sr2SiO4 : Dy3+, Mn2+ with high and almost pure white emission has great potential to act as single-matrix white phosphor for white LEDs.

2. Materials and Experimental Details

All powder samples were synthesized by the solid-state reaction method. High purity Dy2O3 (>99.99%, the others are analytical grade), SrCO3, SiO2, MnCO3, Li2CO3 (the charge compensation agent), and NH4Cl (5 wt%, the flux) were used as the starting materials. Stoichiometrical amounts of starting materials were mixed with ethanol and then ball milled using planetary milling machine for 8 h. The synthesis was performed at 1000°C for 4 h under the reducing atmosphere (5% H2 + 95% N2). Series of (, )2SiO4 : Dy0.02 powders and (, )2SiO4 : Mn0.04 (–8.0, mol%) were prepared.

The crystalline phases of the synthesized powders were determined by the X-ray diffraction (XRD, D/Max2500, Rigaku, Japan) using Cu K  radiation ( Å) in the range of 5°~80° with a step size of 0.02°. The photoluminescence spectra of the phosphors were measured using a fluorescent spectrophotometer (FL3-221, HOROBA, Jobin Yvon, France) with a 450 W xenon lamp as the excitation source (the multiplication voltage: 700 V; the slit width: 2.5 nm). All measurements were carried out at room temperature.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. Phase Compositions of (Sr, Mn, Dy)2SiO4 Powders

Figure 1 shows the XRD patterns of 1 mol% DyMn (~8.0 mol%) doped Sr2SiO4 powders. The overlap between the diffraction peaks of  -Sr2SiO4 (JCPDS no. 39-1256) and -Sr2SiO4 (no. 38-0271) was too much to index them precisely, especially at about 30–32°. Therefore, only the diffraction peaks with clear ownership were indexed. Obviously, the phase compositions of Dy/Mn codoped powders were almost pure  -Sr2SiO4 when  mol%. The ionic radiuses of Sr2+, Mn2+, and Dy3+ are 1.12, 0.80, and 0.91 Å, respectively. Therefore, the diffraction peaks of all samples slightly shifted to the higher angle with increasing the substitution concentration of Mn2+ (Figure 1 (right)). However, minor SrSiO3 and MnO2 were found when the Mn concentration was increased to 8.0 mol%. In general, the substitution of Mn2+ with smaller ionic radius cannot change the crystal structure of host. However, the difference of ionic radiuses between Sr2+ and Mn2+ is 40.0% ((1.12–0.80)/0.80, much bigger than 15%) and the electronegativity of Mn2+ (1.55) is much bigger than that of Sr2+ (0.95), which make the excess Mn exist in “MnO2” form [23].

848274.fig.001
Figure 1: XRD patterns of (, )2SiO4 : Dy0.02 (, mol%) powders as a function of Mn2+ concentration.

When the Dy concentration was fixed at 1.0 mol%, the codoping concentration of Mn2+ for the maximum red emission was 2.0 mol% (see later part “3.2 Luminescence of powders”). Thus, the samples (, )2SiO4 : Mn0.04 (–8.0, mol%) as a function of Dy concentration were also synthesized to obtain the simultaneous maximum of the emission of Dy and Mn. Their XRD patterns are shown in Figure 2. All Mn/Dy codoped powders were also phase. All diffraction peaks slightly shifted to higher angle with increasing the substitution concentration of Dy3+. In fact, the phase compositions of all Mn/Dy codoped powders are consistent with the regularity suggested by our previous study [17]. Without any doping, the phase composition of host powders using 5.0 wt% NH4Cl as the flux is almost pure phase [16]. But the smaller ions (Dy3+/Mn2+) doped or codoped powders are  -Sr2SiO4. The doping of smaller ions within certain concentration range is beneficial to the formation of    phase. Here, the structure is still stable even though the codoping concentration of Dy3+ reaches 8.0 mol%. However, the codoping concentration range of Mn2+ to keep the structure undamaged is ≤4.0 mol% in our experiments due to the big difference of ionic radius between Mn2+ and Sr2+. Therefore, the codoped Mn2+ ions are considered to be effective to occupy the Sr2+ site in the range of 0.0~4.0 mol%.

848274.fig.002
Figure 2: XRD patterns of (, )2SiO4 : Mn0.04 (, mol%) powders as a function of Dy3+ concentration.
3.2. Luminescence of (Sr, Mn, Dy)2SiO4 Powders

Figure 3(a) shows the excitation spectrum of Sr2SiO4 : Dy3+ powders ( nm). The excitation peaks included 349, 364, 386, 452, and 466 nm corresponding to the transitions of 6H15/24D7/2, 6P7/2, 4F21/2, 4I15/2 and 4F9/2, respectively. The strongest excitation peak was at 349 nm. Its corresponding emission spectrum (Figure 3(b)) exhibited the typical characteristics of Dy3+ ions, including two strong peaks centered at 477 nm and 571 nm and a weak emission at 665 nm. The integrated intensities of blue (477 nm) and yellow (571 nm) colors were almost equal. Figure 4(a) shows the excitation spectrum of Sr2SiO4 : Mn2+ powders ( nm). The main excitation peaks centered at 371, 416, and 543 nm, corresponding to the transitions from 6A1(6S) ground state of Mn2+ to its 4T2(4G), 4E(4G), and 4T1(4G) excited state, respectively. Under the excitation of 416 nm, a broad emission centered at 647 nm was observed (Figure 4(b)). This emission was caused by the transition of 4T1(4G)-6A1(6S) and its Gauss fitting curves (dotted line) included two peaks at 645 nm and 719 nm, which maybe resulting from the two kinds of lattice environment of Sr2+ site (their coordination numbers were 9 and 10, resp.).

fig3
Figure 3: Excitation spectrum (a), ( nm) and emission spectrum (b), ( nm) of Dy3+ in (Sr0.99, Dy0.01)2SiO4.
fig4
Figure 4: Excitation spectrum (a), ( nm) and emission spectrum (b), ( nm) of Mn2+ in (Sr0.98, Mn0.02)2SiO4.

From Figure 5 (a, excitation spectrum of Mn2+) and (b, emission spectrum of Dy3+), it can be seen that the excitation of Mn2+ was overlapped by the emission of Dy3+, which indicated that a potential energy transfer from Dy3+ to Mn2+ in Sr2SiO4 lattice might exist. Figure 5(c) shows the excitation spectrum of Dy/Mn codoped (Sr0.97Mn0.02)2SiO4 : Dy0.02 powders. The monitored wavelength was 647 nm for the emission of Mn2+. However, the strong absorption of Dy3+ at 349 nm appeared which strongly indicated that the energy transfer of Dy3+ → Mn2+ happened. In addition, the characteristic emission of Mn2+ at ~650 nm was also clearly observed under the excitation of 349 nm (Figure 5(d)). Though the emission of Sr2SiO4 : Dy also contained the peak at 665 nm, the luminescence enhancement of Mn2+ at ~650 nm further proved the energy transfer from Dy3+ to Mn2+. The luminescence intensities of Mn2+ at 647 nm and Dy3+ at 571 nm asynchronously changed with their concentration variations shown in Figure 6 (only four concentration pairs with dramatic change are shown). The detailed change of the integrated intensities of 550–600 nm for Dy3+ and 635–700 nm for Mn2+ of all concentration-pairs is shown in Figure 7.

848274.fig.005
Figure 5: Excitation spectrum (a), ( nm) of Mn2+ in (Sr0.98, Mn0.02)2SiO4 and emission spectrum (b), ( nm) of Dy3+ in (Sr0.99, Dy0.01)2SiO4. Excitation (c), ( nm) and emission (d), ( nm) spectra of Mn2+ in (Sr0.97, Mn0.02, Dy0.01)2SiO4.
848274.fig.006
Figure 6: Emission spectra of (Sr, Dy, Mn)2SiO4 with different concentration pairs of Dy and Mn ( nm).
fig7
Figure 7: Variations of integrated intensity of 550–600 nm for Dy3+ and 635–700 nm for Mn2+ in (Sr, Dy, Mn)2SiO4 ( nm).

When the concentration of Dy3+ was fixed at 1.0 mol%, the emission intensity of Dy3+ gradually decreased with the increase of Mn2+ concentration (Figure 7(b)) and the emission intensity of Mn2+ firstly increased and then dropped down. The optimum concentration of Mn2+ for the maximum red-emission was 2.0 mol%. Therefore, the samples (, )2SiO4 : Mn0.04 as a function of Dy3+ concentration were also synthesized to obtain the strong emissions of Dy3+ and Mn2+ simultaneously. The detailed emission change is shown in Figure 7(a). With the increase of the concentration of Dy3+, the yellow emission intensity reached the maximum when the corresponding concentration of Dy3+ was 1.0 mol%. But when the red emission intensity of Mn2+ reached the maximum, the codoped concentration of Dy3+ was 2.0 mol%, and then the great decrease of the two emissions occurred due to the self-concentration quenching of Dy3+ ions. That is, the optimum concentration ranges of Dy3+ and Mn2+ to obtain the highest yellow and red emissions are 1.0~2.0 mol%. From the typical emission spectra of four concentration-pairs shown in Figure 6, it was noted that the peak location of red emission changed with the variation of the Dy/Mn concentrations. A red shift occurred from 651 nm to 659 nm with the increase of Mn concentration (b~d) and this may be due to the exchange interactions between Mn2+ ions [24].

The CIE chromaticity coordinates of the four concentration-pair powders are shown in Figure 8. They were all in white light region. However, comparing with the point (a), points (b, c, and d) had the purer white color and their CIE coordinates were closer with the pure white point (0.330, 0.330; five stars). The optimized coordinates were (0.332, 0.326) with higher emission intensity when the codoping concentrations of Dy3+ and Mn2+ were 2.0 mol% and 2.0 mol%, respectively. That is, the red emission of Sr2SiO4 : Dy phosphor was effectively compensated by the codoping of Mn2+ ions, the concentration-optimizing of Dy/Mn, and the energy transfer from Dy3+ to Mn2+.

848274.fig.008
Figure 8: CIE chromaticity coordinates of (Sr, Dy, Mn)2SiO4 with different concentration pairs ( nm).
3.3. Energy Transfer from Dy3+ to Mn2+

Figure 9 shows the schematic diagram of energy transfer in Sr2SiO4 : Dy, Mn powders. The excitation peaks of Mn2+ at 416 and 543 nm (6A1(6S) → 4T2(4G)/4T1(4G)) were covered by the emission peaks of Dy3+ at 477 nm and 571 nm (4F9/24H15/2/6H13/2). This overlap indicates that the energy transfer mechanism is likely to be the radiative reabsorption or nonradiative cross relaxation. However, it could not be the radiative transfer because the oscillator strengths of 6A1(6S) → 4T2(4D)/4T1(4G) are very weak and the resulted energy transfer will be much weaker. Therefore, the energy transfer is likely to be the non-radiative cross-relaxation (CR) between the 4F9/24H15/2, 6H13/2 transitions of Dy3+, and the 6A1(6S) → 4T2(4G), 4T1(4G) transitions of Mn2+ as shown in Figure 9.

848274.fig.009
Figure 9: Energy transfer diagram of Dy3+ → Mn2+.

In order to elucidate the type of the interaction involved in the energy transfer from the donor ions (Dy3+) to the acceptor ions (Mn2+), the luminescence intensities of Dy3+ and Mn2+ were integrated from the emission spectra of Dy/Mn codoped powders according to the VanUitert’s work [2527]. The relationship between the luminescence intensity of the donor ions (Dy3+) and the concentration of the acceptor ions (Mn2+) satisfies the following formula [28]: and are the luminescence intensity of donor ions (Dy3+) without and with the appearance of acceptor ions (Mn2+), respectively. is a constant for one host. When the    value is 3, 6, 8, and 10, the interaction type is the exchange interaction, dipoles-dipoles (d-d), dipoles-quadrupoles (d-q), and quadrupoles-quadrupoles (q-q), respectively. The relation curve between log((Dy)) and log((Mn)) is plotted in Figure 10(a). According to the slope of the fitted line for the curve (a), is 1.02 and is 3.06. As stated in VanUitert’s theory [25], the energy transfer from Dy3+ to Mn2+ is realized by the exchange interaction.

848274.fig.0010
Figure 10: (a) log() of Dy3+ emission versus Mn2+ concentration in (, )2SiO4 : Dy0.02; (b) log() of Dy3+ emission versus Dy3+ concentration in (, )2SiO4 : Mn0.04.

In the meantime, in Huang’s theory [28] for the interaction type among the donor ions (Dy3+), the relationship between the luminescent intensity () and the concentration of activators () should be expressed as where ,   is the transition probability of the donor ions (Dy3+), is the sample dimension (), is a concentration-independent function, and is the concentration of the donor ions (Dy3+). is the electric multipoles index. When value is 3, 6, 8 and 10, the interaction type is also exchange interaction, d-d, d-q, and q-q, respectively. After a mathematical operating, is a concentration-independent constant. Thus, the value of could be obtained by the relation curve of plotted in Figure 10(b). According to the slope of the fitted line for the curve (b),    is approximately equal to 4.80, which means that the d-d interaction () as well as the exchange interaction () are involved in the self-concentration quenching of the 4F9/26H13/2 transition of Dy3+ (571 nm). On the basis of a simple linear-algebraic calculation for the value (), where the value is the fraction of the exchange interaction, about 40% of the non-radiative energy transfer occurs via the exchange interaction. Therefore, the d-d interaction is involved in a major way in the luminescence quenching of Sr2SiO4 : Dy3+, Mn2+ phosphor.

4. Conclusions

In this paper, Mn2+ ions codoped Sr2SiO4 : Dy3+ phosphors were successfully prepared by the solid-state reaction method using NH4Cl as the flux. All Mn/Dy codoped powders were -Sr2SiO4 with the slight shift of the diffraction peaks to higher angle with the increase of the substitution concentrations of Mn/Dy. The codoping concentration range of Mn2+ is ≤4.0 mol% to keep the structure undamaged. The broad red emission of Mn2+ centered at ~650 nm was observed from Sr2SiO4 : Mn, Dy powders, which effectively compensated the red emission of Sr2SiO4 : Dy3+ phosphor. The CIE chromaticity coordinates dramatically changed from (0.310, 0.340) to (0.332, 0.326) due to the red enhancement via the energy transfer from Dy3+ to Mn2+. This energy transfer is realized through the exchange interaction. But the d-d interaction plays a major role in the luminescence quenching of Sr2SiO4 : Dy3+, Mn2+ phosphor. The concentration optimized (Sr0.96, Mn0.02, Dy0.02)2SiO4 phosphor with almost pure white emission has great potential to act as a single-matrix white phosphor for white LEDs.

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the generous financial supports from the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK2007724), National Natural Science Foundation of China (51202111), Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), and Research and Innovation Program for College Graduates of Jiangsu Province (CXZZ12_0410).

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