The CaSO4:Eu phosphor in nanocrystalline form was obtained by chemical method. The sample was annealed at various temperatures and quenched. The structural, electronic and optical properties are studied using various experimental techniques. As synthesized CaSO4:Eu particles have nanorod shapes with diameter of ~15 nm and length of ~250 nm. After annealing (at around 900 °C) a significant increase in their size (~2–4 μm) with phase transformation from hexagonal to orthorhombic was observed. Thermoluminescence (TL) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) intensities were found to increase with temperature up to 900 °C and decrease thereafter for 1 Gy of test dose of β-rays from 90Sr-90Yr source. However, the maximum OSL sensitivity was found to be more than that of CaSO4:Eu microcrystalline phosphor (prepared by acid recrystallization method) contrary to the usually found in the literature but much less than that of commercially available α-Al2O3:C phosphor. The activation energy for thermally assisted OSL process was found to be 0.0572 ± 0.0028 eV. The dose ranges of TL and OSL response was found from 0.04 Gy to 100 Gy and 0.02 Gy–100 Gy, respectively. The experimental results are also correlated with computational calculations based on density functional theory (DFT). The crystal structures and electronic structures of both hexagonal and orthorhombic CaSO4 and CaSO4:Eu materials show that they are direct band gap (5.67–5.86 eV) insulators, with Ca2+ substitution by Eu2+ found to introduce donor states in the band gap near Fermi level and the valence band edge of CaSO4 on doping with Eu2+ impurity ions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Condensed Matter Physics