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Aqueous colloidal solutions of well dispersed YVO4:Ln (Ln = Eu, Nd) nanoparticles are synthesized through precipitation reactions at room temperature. In the case of YVO4:Eu, a luminescence quantum yield of 15% is found, which is not as high as in the bulk due to the existence of residual crystalline defects and nonradiative relaxations from the hydroxylated surface. Appropriate hydrothermal annealing and deuteration of the surface allow to rise the yield up to 38%. Incorporation of the nanocrystals into a transparent silica matrix is achieved through preliminary coating of the particles with a functionnalized silicon alkoxide and further dispersion into a sol-gel precursor solution. Such sol-gel materials doped with YVO4:Nd nanocrystals are transparent and exhibit the typical emission at 1.06 μm of the Nd3+ ion.
Aluminophthalocyanine and fullerene were trapped in solid transparent matrices using the sol-gel process. The covalent bonding to the matrix improved the chemical stability of the fullerene doped sample. Solid state optical limiting at 532 nm, mainly due to reverse saturable absorption processes, was observed with such samples. The non-linear transmission threshold was typically about 10 mJ/cm2 and an induced density of 1.6 was observed with three orders of magnitude greater illumination. Fluorescent decay measurements support the choice of a three energy level absorption model for the process, which allows indirect measurement of the excited-state absorption.
Materials based on alkynyl platinum derivatives and thiacalixarenes were prepared through the sol-gel process The molecular species were grafted to the matrix (class II hybrid) in order to maximise the concentration and the stability of the final solid-state material Broadband optical limiting performance in the visible wavelength region was observed in the prepared materials Thermomechanical characterisation of the matrix is also discussed.
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