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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2011, Article ID 469685, 6 pages
Research Article

Particle Size Control of Y2O3:Eu3+ Prepared via a Coconut Water-Assisted Sol-Gel Method

Laboratory of Advanced Ceramic Materials, Physics Department, Federal University of Sergipe, 49100-000 São Cristóvão, SE, Brazil

Received 2 October 2010; Revised 24 November 2010; Accepted 23 December 2010

Academic Editor: Yanan Du

Copyright © 2011 Maria de Andrade Gomes 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.


Eu3+-doped Y2O3 nanoparticles were produced through proteic sol-gel technique, and the adjustment of pH was tested in order to control the particle size of the powders. A strong correlation between the initial pH and the temperature of crystallization was observed, allowing the production of particles with controlled diameter from 4 nm to 50 nm. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, optical microscopy and photoluminescence spectroscopy in both absorption and emission modes. A blue shift of the excitation peak corresponding to energy transfer from Y2O3 host to Eu3+ ions was observed, as the particle size was reduced from 50 to 4 nm. The suppression of a charge transfer band also resulted from the reduction of the particle size. The emission spectrum of the Y2O3:Eu3+ with particles of 50 nm was found to be similar to that of bulk material whereas 4 nm particles presented broadened emission peaks with lower intensities.