Revelation of the Technological Versatility of the Eu(TTA)3Phen Complex by Demonstrating Energy Harvesting, Ultraviolet Light Detection, Temperature Sensing, and Laser Applications

We synthesized the Eu­(TTA)3Phen complex and present herein a detailed study of its photophysics. The investigations encompass samples dispersed in poly­(vinyl alcohol) and in ethanol in order to explore the versatile applicability of these lanthanide-based materials. Details upon the interaction between Eu, TTA, and the Phen ligands are revealed by Fourier transform infrared and UV–visible absorption, complemented by steady state and temporally resolved emission studies, which provide evidence of an efficient energy transfer from the organic ligands to the central Eu3+ ion. The material produces efficient emission even under sunlight exposure, a feature pointing toward suitability for luminescent solar concentrators and UV light sensing, which is demonstrated for intensities as low as 200 nW/cm2. The paper further promotes the complex’s capability to be used as luminescence-based temperature sensor demonstrated by the considerable emission intensity changes of ∼4.0% per K in the temperature range of 50–305 K and ∼7% per K in the temeperature range 305–340 K. Finally, increasing the optical excitation causes both spontaneous emission amplification and emission peak narrowing in the Eu­(TTA)3Phen complex dispersed in poly­(vinyl alcohol) - features indicative of stimulated emission. These findings in conjunction with the fairly large stimulated emission cross-section of 4.29 × 10–20 cm2 demonstrate that the Eu­(TTA)3Phen complex dispersed in poly­(vinyl alcohol) could be a very promising material choice for lanthanide-polymer based laser architectures.