What is the origin of concentration quenching of Cu+ luminescence in glass?
Monovalent copper-doped luminescent glasses are attractive materials for white light-emitting devices, photonic waveguides, and solar spectral conversion in photovoltaic cells. However, the occurrence of concentration quenching in such is not fully understood at present. In this work, calcium-phosphate glasses with high concentrations of luminescent Cu+ ions have been prepared by a simple melt-quench method via CuO and SnO co-doping. The aim is to elucidate the origin of concentration quenching of Cu+ light emission. A spectroscopic characterization was carried out by optical absorption and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy including emission decay dynamics. The concentrations of both CuO and SnO dopants were varied as 5, 10 and 15 mol%. Monovalent copper content is estimated in the CuO/SnO-containing glasses following the assessment of the concentration dependence of Cu2+ absorption in the visible for CuO singly-doped glasses. Contrary to the conventionally acknowledged direct Cu+→Cu2+ transfer, the data supports a Cu+–Cu+ energy migration channel at the origin of the PL quenching.