Synthesis and characterization of Pr 3+-doped glass scintillators prepared by the sol-gel method

Yan Sun, Masanori Koshimizu, Shunji Kishimoto, Keisuke Asai

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Transparent and crack-free Pr-doped silica glass scintillators were successfully synthesized using the sol-gel method. A peak found at 301 nm in the photoluminescence spectrum was ascribed to a radiative transition of the Pr 3+ emission center. The associated excitation peak was located at 276 nm. The energy of the excitation peak (4.50 eV) was significantly lower than the energy gap (5.83 eV) of the 1S 0 to 3H 4 f-f transition. Therefore, the f-f transition was excluded as the origin, and the transition was attributed to 5d-4f. In the absorption spectrum, several bands of the f-f transition were observed. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was employed to understand the microstructural features and OH group concentration in the Pr 3+-doped silica glass. It was revealed that a Si-O network had been successfully formed, and that the OH group concentration decreased with increasing thermal treatment temperature reaching a saturation value for temperatures higher than 750 °C. The absence of praseodymium oxide nanocrystalline clusters was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), even in the sample with the highest Pr ion concentration. Scintillation properties of the Pr 3+-doped silica glass were also characterized. The scintillation decay time constants were estimated to be approximately 1.3 and 14 ns, which supports the assignment of the luminescence to the 5d-4f transition. The scintillation light yield of the Pr 3+-doped silica glass was estimated to be approximately 130 photons/MeV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun


  • 5d-4f transition
  • Glass scintillator
  • Photoluminescence
  • Sol-gel method


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