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Research Article | Open Access

Ce3+:Lu3Al5O12–Al2O3 optical nanoceramic scintillators elaborated via a low-temperature glass crystallization route

Jie Fua,b,dShaowei Fengb,dYongchang Guob,dYing Zhangb,dCécile GenevoiscEmmanuel VeroncMathieu Allixc( )Jianqiang Lia( )
School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Complex Systems, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
CNRS, CEMHTI UPR 3079, Université d’Orléans, Orléans 45071, France
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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Abstract

Transparent Ce:lutetium aluminum garnet (Ce:Lu3Al5O12, Ce:LuAG) ceramics have been regarded as potential scintillator materials due to their relatively high density and atomic number (Zeff). However, the current Ce:LuAG ceramics exhibit a light yield much lower than the expected theoretical value due to the inevitable presence of LuAl antisite defects at high sintering temperatures. This work demonstrates a low-temperature (1100 ℃) synthetic strategy for elaborating transparent LuAG–Al2O3 nanoceramics through the crystallization of 72 mol% Al2O3–28 mol% Lu2O3 (ALu28) bulk glass. The biphasic nanostructure composed of LuAG and Al2O3 nanocrystals makes up the whole ceramic materials. Most of Al2O3 is distributed among LuAG grains, and the rest is present inside the LuAG grains. Fully dense biphasic LuAG–Al2O3 nanoceramics are highly transparent from the visible region to mid-infrared (MIR) region, and particularly the transmittance reaches 82% at 780 nm. Moreover, LuAl antisite defect-related centers are completely undetectable in X-ray excited luminescence (XEL) spectra of Ce:LuAG–Al2O3 nanoceramics with 0.3–1.0 at% Ce. The light yield of 0.3 at% Ce:LuAG–Al2O3 nanoceramics is estimated to be 20,000 ph/MeV with short 1 μs shaping time, which is far superior to that of commercial Bi4Ge3O12 (BGO) single crystals. These results show that a low-temperature glass crystallization route provides an alternative approach for eliminating the antisite defects in LuAG-based ceramics, and is promising to produce garnet-based ceramic materials with excellent properties, thereby meeting the demands of advanced scintillation applications.

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Journal of Advanced Ceramics
Pages 268-278
Cite this article:
Fu J, Feng S, Guo Y, et al. Ce3+:Lu3Al5O12–Al2O3 optical nanoceramic scintillators elaborated via a low-temperature glass crystallization route. Journal of Advanced Ceramics, 2023, 12(2): 268-278. https://doi.org/10.26599/JAC.2023.9220681

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Received: 23 June 2022
Revised: 01 October 2022
Accepted: 18 October 2022
Published: 29 December 2022
© The Author(s) 2022.

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