Optical Properties of Eu3+-Doped Aluminophosphate Glass with a High Concentration of Silver and Tin
The optical properties of Eu3+-doped aluminophosphate glass containing a high concentration of Ag2O and SnO co-dopants (8 mol% of each) are reported. Glass preparation is carried out by melt-quenching, and a subsequent in situ monitored heat treatment (HT) is carried out for the reduction of ionic silver to Ag nanoparticles (NPs) via reducing agent tin(II). An enhanced ultraviolet broadband excitation range for Eu3+ ions is realized for the melt-quenched glass, likely due to the creation of molecule-like silver species such as Ag+–Ag+ dimers. The real-time optical monitoring of the glass during isothermal HT shows the steady development of the surface plasmon resonance peak of Ag NPs near 420 nm. Concurrently exciting Eu3+ ions in situ at 420 nm unveils the plasmonic diluent effect manifested through the quenching of Eu3+ luminescence. The decay times of the 5D0 emitting state in Eu3+ ions in the melt-quenched and NP-doped glasses are measured and discussed.