Europium-Doped Ceria-Gadolinium Mixed Oxides: PARAFAC Analysis and High-Resolution Emission Spectroscopy under Cryogenic Conditions for Structural Analysis.

Author(s) Chemura, S.; Haubitz, T.; Primus, P.A.; Underberg, M.; Hülser, T.; Kumke, M.U.
Journal J Phys Chem A
Date Published 2020 Jun 08

Gadolinium-doped ceria or gadolinium-stabilized ceria (GDC) is an important technical material due to its ability to conduct O ions, e.g., used in solid oxide fuel cells operated at intermediate temperature as an electrolyte, diffusion barrier, and electrode component. We have synthesized CeGdO:Eu (0 ≤ ≤ 0.4) nanoparticles (11-15 nm) using a scalable spray pyrolysis method, which allows the continuous large-scale technical production of such materials. Introducing Eu ions in small amounts into ceria and GDC as spectroscopic probes can provide detailed information about the atomic structure and local environments and allows us to monitor small structural changes. This study presents a novel approach to structurally elucidate europium-doped CeGdO:Eu nanoparticles by way of Eu spectroscopy, processing the spectroscopic data with the multiway decomposition method parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis. In order to perform the deconvolution of spectra, data sets of excitation wavelength, emission wavelength, and time are required. Room temperature, time-resolved emission spectra recorded at λ = 464 nm show that Gd doping results in significantly altered emission spectra compared to pure ceria. The PARAFAC analysis for the pure ceria samples reveals a high-symmetry species (which can also be probed directly via the CeO charge transfer band) and a low-symmetry species. The GDC samples yield two low-symmetry spectra in the same experiment. High-resolution emission spectra recorded under cryogenic conditions after probing the D-F transition at λ = 575-583 nm revealed additional variation in the low-symmetry Eu sites in pure ceria and GDC. The total luminescence spectra of CeO:Eu showed Eu ions located in at least three slightly different coordination environments with the same fundamental symmetry, whereas the overall hypsochromic shift and increased broadening of the D-F excitation in the GDC samples, as well as the broadened spectra after deconvolution point to less homogeneous environments. The data of the Gd-containing samples indicates that the average charge density around the Eu ions in the lattice is decreased with increasing Gd and oxygen vacancy concentration. For reference, the Judd-Ofelt parameters of all spectra were calculated. PARAFAC proves to be a powerful tool to analyze lanthanide spectra in crystalline solid materials, which are characterized by numerous Stark transitions and where measurements usually yield a superposition of different contributions to any given spectrum.

DOI 10.1021/acs.jpca.0c03188
ISSN 1520-5215
Citation J Phys Chem A. 2020.

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