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Nanocomposite Phosphor Consisting of CaI2:Eu2+ Single Nanocrystals Embedded in Crystalline SiO2

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journal contribution
posted on 15.11.2017, 16:39 by Hisayoshi Daicho, Takeshi Iwasaki, Yu Shinomiya, Akitoshi Nakano, Hiroshi Sawa, Wataru Yamada, Satoru Matsuishi, Hideo Hosono
High luminescence efficiency is obtained in halide- and chalcogenide-based phosphors, but they are impractical because of their poor chemical durability. Here we report a halide-based nanocomposite phosphor with excellent luminescence efficiency and sufficient durability for practical use. Our approach was to disperse luminescent single nanocrystals of CaI2:Eu2+ in a chemically stable, translucent crystalline SiO2 matrix. Using this approach, we successfully prepared a nanocomposite phosphor by means of self-organization through a simple solid-state reaction. Single nanocrystals of 6H polytype (thr notation) CaI2:Eu2+ with diameters of about 50 nm could be generated not only in a SiO2 amorphous powder but also in a SiO2 glass plate. The nanocomposite phosphor formed upon solidification of molten CaI2 left behind in the crystalline SiO2 that formed from the amorphous SiO2 under the influence of a CaI2 flux effect. The resulting nanocomposite phosphor emitted brilliant blue luminescence with an internal quantum efficiency up to 98% upon 407 nm violet excitation. We used cathodoluminescence microscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy, and Rietveld refinement of the X-ray diffraction patterns to confirm that the blue luminescence was generated only by the CaI2:Eu2+ single nanocrystals. The phosphor was chemically durable because the luminescence sites were embedded in the crystalline SiO2 matrix. The phosphor is suitable for use in near-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes. The concept for this nanocomposite phosphor can be expected to be effective for improvements in the practicality of poorly durable materials such as halides and chalcogenides.