Unique sharp photoluminescence of size-controlled sonochemically synthesized zirconia nanoparticles

Divinah Manoharan, Aswaghosh Loganathan, Vishista Kurapati, Victor Jaya Nesamony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The present study explores the features of tetragonally stabilized polycrystalline zirconia nanophosphors prepared by a sonochemistry based synthesis from zirconium oxalate precursor complex. The sonochemically prepared pristine zirconia, 3 mol%, 5 mol% and 8 mol% yttrium doped zirconia nanophosphors were characterized using thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) and photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL). The reaction mechanism of formation of zirconia nanophosphors is discussed in detail. The probable sonochemical formation mechanism is being proposed. Stabilization of tetragonal phase of pristine zirconia even at room temperature was effectively established by controlling the particle size using ultrasonic waves. Improved phase purity and good surface morphology of the nanophosphors is being achieved via sonochemical route. FE-SEM micrographs reveal that the nanoparticles have uniform spherical shape and size. The narrow particle size distribution (∼15-25 nm) of the zirconia nanoparticles was found from FE-SEM statistical analysis and further confirmed by TEM. Zirconia nanophosphors exhibit a wide energy band gap and which was found to vary with yttrium dopant concentration. The highlight of the present study is the synthesis of novel nanocrystalline ZrO2 and Y-ZrO2 phosphor which simultaneously emits extremely sharp as well as intense UV, violet and cyan light on exciting the host atom. The yttrium ion dopant further enhances the photoluminescence property of zirconia. These nanocrystalline phosphors are likely to have remarkable optical applications as light emitting UV-LEDs, UV lasers and multi color displays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-184
Number of pages11
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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