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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017, Article ID 3809807, 9 pages
Research Article

Photoluminescence Enhancement of Titanate Nanotubes by Insertion of Rare Earth Ions in Their Interlayer Spaces

1Pós-Graduação em Ciências dos Materiais, Universidade Federal do Piauí (UFPI), 64049-550 Teresina, PI, Brazil
2Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal do Piauí (UFPI), 64049-550, Teresina, PI, Brazil
3Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), 50670-901 Recife, PE, Brazil
4Department of Physics and Center for 2-Dimensional and Layered Materials, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
5Departamento de Física, CCET, Universidade Federal do Maranhão, 65085-580 São Luís, MA, Brazil
6Laboratório de Materiais Funcionais Avançados (LaMFA), Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC), 60440-554 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Odair Pastor Ferreira; moc.liamg@arierrefpo and Bartolomeu Cruz Viana; rb.ude.ipfu@uemolotrab

Received 27 July 2016; Revised 14 December 2016; Accepted 26 December 2016; Published 25 January 2017

Academic Editor: Giovanni Bongiovanni

Copyright © 2017 Thalles M. F. Marques 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.


The optical properties of titanate nanotubes (TiNts) intercalated with rare earths (RE) ions were intensively investigated in this study. To prepare the nanomaterials, sodium titanate nanotubes (Na-TiNts) were submitted to ion exchange reactions with different rare earth elements (RE: Pr3+, Er3+, Nd3+, and Yb3+). To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time that these RE-TiNts were synthesized. All samples were characterized by Raman spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Furthermore, the optical properties were examined using photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL) and UV-Vis-NIR absorption spectroscopy. The PL intensity (visible range) of the RE-TiNt samples showed a strong dependence when the temperature was decreased down to 20 K. This PL enhancement probably was promoted by electronic modifications in titanate layer band gap and/or interface charge transfers due to RE ions intercalation.