Structural and spectroscopy characterization of rare-earth doped PLZT ferroelectric ceramics

by de Queiroz, Thiago Branquinho

Abstract (Summary)
In recent years, there has been a great interest for rare-earth (RE) doped transparent ceramics as near-infrared laser active media. Particularly, Nd3+ and Yb3+-doped ceramics are of special interest due to the possibility of generating high power emissions at around 1.0 mm. Even though lead lanthanum zirconate titanate (PLZT) ceramics, with composition La/Zr/Ti = 9/65/35, are mostly known by their ferroelectric and electro-optic properties, recent works by de Camargo et al. have also indicated their potentiality as laser active media. In this regard, the most promising system is PLZT:Nd (as compared to YAG:Nd - neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet), however, laser action of the former has not yet been possible, the reason lying in the presence of secondary phases (invisible to the naked eye) that compromise the optical quality of the ceramics, especially for samples with concentration higher than 1.0 wt% Nd2O3. Since the structural quality of samples has a direct implication on their spectroscopic and optical qualities, the goals pursued in this work are to present means to obtain highly transparent samples with higher incorporation of dopants, as well as to understand some fundamental questions regarding the microstructure of PLZT:RE ceramics. Thus, an alternative method, based on the obtainment of RE-doped precursor oxides, is presented for the synthesis of PLZT:RE and several techniques (XRD, DTA-TG, FT-IR, Raman, NMR and Luminescence) are used to characterize the samples, as a function of doping concentration (0,1 4,0 wt% RE2O3). These studies are done in comparison to the conventional method used in previous works. Solid state NMR spectroscopy of 207Pb proved to be a very useful tool for the understanding of these complex systems. Because Nd3+ and Yb3+ are paramagnetic and thus inaccessible by NMR, the strategy used for the characterization of their spatial distribution was to study samples doped with their respective diamagnetic mimics Sc3+ and Y3+ (45Sc and 89Y nuclei). XRD results have shown formation of less secondary phase for samples prepared by alternative method, being identified as secondary phase pyrochlore structure (La,Nd)2(Zr,Ti)2O7, partially monoclinic/cubic ZrO2 and cubic ZrO2 of the samples doped with Nd3+, Y3+ and Yb3+ respectively. NMR measurements allowed to make proposals about dopant ion insertion while secondary phase is formed and showed homogeneous distribution of dopant into the matrix, aswell luminescence measurements with maximum dopant solubility being less than enough to show any suppression of luminescence.
This document abstract is also available in Portuguese.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Andrea Simone Stucchi de Camargo Alvarez Bernardez; Said Rahnamaye Rabbani; Ana Candida Martins Rodrigues; Andrea Simone Stucchi de Camargo Alvarez Bernardez

School:Universidade de São Paulo

School Location:Brazil

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords: laser active media PLZT transparent ceramics rare earth ions solid state NMR


Date of Publication:03/06/2009

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