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New nanosized upconversion oxide materials
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Project leader Tamara Gavrilovic

The goals of this interdisciplinary project proposal are related with the resolution of problems widely investigated in the field of luminescent up-converting nanomaterials, such as: stabilization, modification, (bio)functionalization of the surface and toxicity of materials. The design and preparation of multifunctional nanomaterials with improved performance have aroused considerable interest in recent years. The development of synthetic methods which will provide materials of high purity, crystallinity, uniformity of size, morphology, and composition, is one of the most challenging problems in materials science. Several groups of luminescent up-converting nanomaterials will be produced, coated and modified. Among them are: metal oxides (TiO2, ZnO, ZrO2, HfO2), aluminates (SrAlO4), silicates (SrSiO4) and phosphates (APO4, A = La, Y, Gd, Lu). The properties of these functional nanostructures will be examined from the fundamental point of view; however, adapted for practical applications including needs for specific high-tech products required by Latvian industry. As an example, proposed structures might be employed as solid-state laser amplifiers, as well as for imaging agents, cancer detection and drug delivery. The implementation of this project will be significant not only for scientific research, but also for major society due to diverse potential in physical, biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, and various technical solutions.

Project progress

January 9, 2018

We are happy to announce that significant progress has been recently accomplished and four different methods for preparation of phosphors based on phosphate and vanadate host were developed and optimized: high temperature solid-state, co-precipitation, reverse micelle and colloidal route.
Samples with particles of different morphology and size with satisfactory luminescent intensity were obtained. At this moment, some of them incorporated in silica waveguides could find potential application for enhancement of 1.3 μm photoluminescence.

The work investigating luminescent lanthanum nanoparticles was presented at international conference ‘’Spectral shaping for biomedical and energy applications’’, SHIFT 2017, 13-17 November, Tenerife, Spain.

The article, with detailed study of nanoparticle’s size effect on structural and optical properties of doped lanthanum and europium phosphate has been accepted for publication, which can be found online. Also, very proud to report that a joint manuscript between our team and researchers from Italy, Vietnam, Poland and Serbia studying phosphors based on vanadate host has been submitted and accepted for publication.

We will continue our work, hopefully acquiring materials with improved performances, and attractive practical applications.