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Effect of Cu2+ on the optical properties of zinc hydroxy-carbonate phosphors prepared in different synthesis conditions

L. E. Mureşan, I. Perhaița, C. Saroşi, L. Barbu-Tudoran, and G. Borodi

“Raluca Ripan” Institute for Research in Chemistry, “Babes-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania



Received: 10 November 2021  Accepted: 13 February 2022


Inorganic luminescent materials comprise a wide range of compounds showing a large area of applications in sensing, imaging, drug delivery or optical-electrical displays. In this study, various luminescent zinc hydroxy-carbonate compounds were prepared by precipitation using different precipitating agents such as LiOH, NH3, Na2CO3 and (NH4)2CO3. The morpho-structure and optical properties of samples are investigated by X-Ray diffraction (XRD), infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), adsorption and porosity measurements (BET), optical (UV–Vis) and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. The phase composition, morphology and porosity of zinc hydroxide (ZH) and zinc hydroxy-carbonates (ZHC) strongly depends on the evolution of pH and availability of different ionic species during the precipitation. The spherical particles of zinc hydroxy-carbonate compounds with sizes ranging between 5 and 20 nm, exhibits strong tendency to form layered or spongy aggregates. BET investigations show that the porosity is distributed either at the surface (ZH) or in the depth of the particles (ZHC) and the specific surface area of samples varies between 15 m2/g. and 55 m2/g. The effect of various amounts of Cu2+ on optical properties of samples is also discussed. Luminescent studies confirm that interaction with Cu2+ leads first to enhancement and then to quenching of the purple–blue emission of samples while, the energy band gap decreases due to the apparition of new acceptor–donor levels in the optical band gap. A mechanism is proposed to explain the luminescent behavior of the samples.

Keywords: Zinc hydroxide; Zinc hydroxy-carbonate; precipitation; Luminescence; Copper doping

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02135-x


Chemical Papers 76 (6) 3817–3828 (2022)

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