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  1. Controlled energy transfer has been found to be one of the most effective ways of designing tunable and white photoluminescent phosphors. Utilizing host emission to achieve the same would lead to a new dimension in the design strategy for novel luminescent materials in solid state lighting and display devices. In this work, we have achieved controlled energy transfer by suppressing the host to dopant energy transfer in La 2 Hf 2 O 7 :Eu 3+ nanoparticles (NPs) by co-doping with uranium ions. Uranium acts as a barrier between the oxygen vacancies of the La 2 Hf 2 O 7 host and Eu 3+ doping ions to increase their separation and reduce the non-radiative energy transfer between them. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations of defect formation energy showed that the Eu 3+ dopant occupies the La 3+ site and the uranium ion occupies the Hf 4+ site. Co-doping the La 2 Hf 2 O 7 :Eu 3+ NPs with uranium ions creates negatively charged lanthanum and hafnium vacancies making the system highly electron rich. Formation of cation vacancies is expected to compensate the excess charge in the U and Eu co-doped La 2 Hf 2 O 7 NPs suppressing the formationmore »of oxygen vacancies. This work shows how one can utilize the full color gamut in the La 2 Hf 2 O 7 :Eu 3+ ,U 6+ NPs with blue, green and red emissions from the host, uranium and europium, respectively, to produce near perfect white light emission.« less
  2. Structural evolution in functional materials is a physicochemical phenomenon, which is important from a fundamental study point of view and for its applications in magnetism, catalysis, and nuclear waste immobilization. In this study, we used x-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy to examine the Gd2Hf2O7 (GHO) pyrochlore, and we showed that it underwent a thermally induced crystalline phase evolution. Superconducting quantum interference device measurements were carried out on both the weakly ordered pyrochlore and the fully ordered phases. These measurements suggest a weak magnetism for both pyrochlore phases. Spin density calculations showed that the Gd3+ ion has a major contribution to the fully ordered pyrochlore magnetic behavior and its cation antisite. The origin of the Gd magnetism is due to the concomitant shift of its spin-up 4f orbital states above the Fermi energy and its spin-down states below the Fermi energy. This picture is in contrast to the familiar Stoner model used in magnetism. The ordered pyrochlore GHO is antiferromagnetic, whereas its antisite is ferromagnetic. The localization of the Gd-4f orbitals is also indicative of weak magnetism. Chemical bonding was analyzed via overlap population calculations: These analyses indicate that Hf-Gd and Gd-O covalent interactions are destabilizing, and thus, the stabilities ofmore »these bonds are due to ionic interactions. Our combined experimental and computational analyses on the technologically important pyrochlore materials provide a basic understanding of their structure, bonding properties, and magnetic behaviors.« less