Nanoscale CaF2 doped with Eu3+ and Tb3+ through fluorolytic sol–gel synthesis†
In this article, the high potential of the fluorolytic sol–gel process to synthesize nanoscopic rare earth-doped calcium fluoride sols is shown. Through a fluorolytic sol–gel process we manage to achieve spherical monodisperse ∼5 nm sized nanoparticles using a simple and reproducible one-pot-wet chemical route at room temperature. The as-synthesized clear sols exhibit an intense red and green luminescence under UV excitation at room temperature. A spectroscopic study of the sols revealed the characteristic transitions 5D0 → 7FJ of Eu3+ and 5D4 → 7FJ of Tb3+, with 5D0 → 7F2 (611 nm) of Eu3+ and 5D4 → 7F4 (581 nm) of Tb3+ as the most prominent transitions. This facile synthetic strategy is also valuable for developing other luminescent nanoparticles.