Sol–gel-deposition of thin TiO2:Eu3+ thermographic phosphor films
A relatively new promising method for surface temperature measurement is the use of thermographic phosphors. For this application, the temperature-dependent luminescence properties of europium (III)-doped anatase (TiO2:Eu3+) thin films were studied. The films were prepared by the sol–gel method using dip coating. The structures and the morphology of the films were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. Electron dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) was used to verify the europium concentration within the films. For using the films as temperature sensors the optical properties are the main concern. Therefore, the emission spectra of the films were measured after ultraviolet laser excitation (355 nm). They indicate that the red characteristic emission (617 nm) of TiO2:Eu3+ due to the 5D0 → 7F2 electric dipole transition is the strongest. The decay time constant of the exponential emission decay under UV excitation with a Nd:YAG laser (355 nm, f = 10 Hz) is strongly temperature dependent in the range from 200 °C up to 400 °C; making it useful for temperature evaluation. The temperature dependence was measured for the emission line at 617 nm; the results demonstrate that anatase doped europium (III) can be used as a thermographic phosphor.
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