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Research Article | Open Access

Rare earth doped cobalt aluminate blue as an environmentally benign colorant

Sri Parasara RADHIKAKalarical Janardhanan SREERAM*( )Balachandran Unni NAIR
Chemical Laboratory, Central Leather Research Institute, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Adyar, Chennai 600020, India
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Increasing energy cost calls for exterior coatings with high near infra-red reflectance, so as to reduce heat absorption and in turn cost of air-conditioning. While modulations of substrate, use of white metal oxides as pigments or under-layers has been reported in past, reports on metal oxide or doped metal oxide pigments with high NIR reflectance is scarce. We report for the first time a blue colored cobalt aluminate type pigment prepared through doping of cerium, praseodymium or neodymium. CIELAB color measurements and calculation of ΔE indicated that the Nd doped sample had crystal size of (36±1) nm, bandgap value of (2.4±0.2) eV and color coordinates similar to that of cobalt aluminate. The molar ratio as estimated by EDX was found to be Al : Cu : Co : Ce : Nd : O= 2 : 0.06 : 0.06 : 0.012 : 0.000 12 : 6.18. The pigment was found to have potential applications as a cool blue colorant, owing to changes in optical properties arising out of crystal chemistry changes. Incorporation of rare earth metal ions was found to enhance the NIR reflectance by 10%, when compared to a conventional cobalt aluminate pigment. The oxide has been well characterized and its performance as a pigment evaluated. We have proposed that changes in crystal lattice when neodymium enters into Ce4+ sites enhance the NIR reflectance by about 9% as against the entry of praseodymium.


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Journal of Advanced Ceramics
Pages 301-309
Cite this article:
RADHIKA SP, SREERAM KJ, NAIR BU. Rare earth doped cobalt aluminate blue as an environmentally benign colorant. Journal of Advanced Ceramics, 2012, 1(4): 301-309.








Web of Science






Received: 28 September 2012
Revised: 19 November 2012
Accepted: 21 November 2012
Published: 09 January 2013
© The author(s) 2012