White Phosphors from a Silicate-Carboxylate Sol-Gel Precursor That Lack Metal Activator Ions

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Science  20 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5320, pp. 1826-1828
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5320.1826

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Highly emissive (with an external quantum yield exceeding 35 percent at a 365-nanometer excitation wavelength) broadband phosphors can be synthesized from a tetraalkoxysilane sol-gel precursor and a variety of organic carboxylic acids. The air-stable phosphors were synthesized at low temperatures (less than 300°C) and displayed broad visible photoluminescence spectra that appeared white to the eye. Water-soluble phosphors can be prepared by the substitution of 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane for tetraalkoxysilane in the synthesis. These materials are the most efficient extrinsic phosphors that do not contain activator metal ions.

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