Paper Title:
Fabrication and Characterization of Silica Opals
  Abstract

We present the details of the sol-gel processing used to realize inverse silica opal, where the silica was activated with 0.3 mol% of Er3+ ions. The template (direct opal) was obtained assembling polystyrene spheres of the dimensions of 260 nm by means of a vertical deposition technique. The Er3+-activated silica inverse opal was obtained infiltrating, into the void of the template, the silica sol doped with Er3+ ions and subsequently removing the polystyrene spheres by means of calcinations. Scanning electron microscope showed that the inverse opals possess an fcc structure with a air hollow of about 210 nm. A photonic band gap in the visible range was observed from reflectance measurements. Spectroscopic properties of Er3+activated silica inverse opal were investigated by photoluminescence spectroscopy. A bandwidth of 21 nm was measured for the 4I13/2 → 4I15/2 transition of Er3+ ions upon excitation at 514.5 nm. The luminescence decay curve of the 4I13/2 metastable state of the Er3+ ions presents a lifetime τ = 16.8 ± 0.1 ms giving a very high quantum efficiency of the fabricated system. Core-shell Er3+-activated silica spheres, where the core is the silica sphere and the shell is an Er2O3-SiO2 coating is proposed as a possible route for opal fabrication. For core-shell system a quantum efficiency of about 70% was estimated.

  Info
Periodical
Main Theme
Edited by
Pietro VINCENZINI and Giancarlo RIGHINI
Pages
118-126
DOI
10.4028/www.scientific.net/AST.55.118
Citation
C. Armellini, A. Chiappini, A. Chiasera, M. Ferrari, Y. Jestin, E. Moser, R. Retoux, G. Speranza, L. Minati, G. Nunzi Conti, S. Berneschi, I. Cacciari, S. Pelli, G.C. Righini, "Fabrication and Characterization of Silica Opals ", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 55, pp. 118-126, 2008
Online since
September 2008
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