Abstract

Using conventional melt-quenching and subsequent thermal treatment, Er3+ doped CaF2 transparent glass ceramic (GC) was prepared. X-ray diffraction and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy confirmed the formation and microstructure of CaF2 nanocrystals in glass. An energy-dispersive spectrometer was used to investigate the distribution of Er3+ ions and CaF2 nanocrystals in glass. It was found that Er3+ ions prefer to concentrate in the CaF2 nanocrystals rather than in a glass matrix, and the amount of Er3+ ions plays a key role in the formation of CaF2 nanocrystals in a glass matrix with the Er3+ ions as nucleating agent. An intense 2.7 μm emission due to Er3+: I11/24I13/24 was achieved upon excitation at 980 nm with a laser diode, while the 2.7 μm emission can be neglected in the as-prepared glass counterpart, which confirmed the incorporation of Er3+ ions into CaF2 nanocrystals. An obvious enhancement of 2.7 μm emerged in the GC doped with 3% Er3+ and heat-treated at 620°C.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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