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Mesoporous lanthanide-containing oxides
In a new area for us, we are developing methods to integrate lanthanide luminescence with the electrical properties of other elements such as silicon. This work which we are conducting in collaboration and Dr Tony Kenyon (UCL Electrical Engineering) involves the preparation of mesoporous host lattices (e.g. TiO2 and Y2O3) doped with small percentages of luminescent ions. Of particular interest to use are those involved in optical communications such as Nd3+, Ho3+, and Yb3+. These lattices are prepared by a templated sol gel approach using non-ionic surfactants. After removal of the templates we are using CVD and/or electrochemical methods to deposit elements such as silicon into the pores to generate nano-structured composites. We are also involved in other work in collaboration with the Carmalt group (synthesis of thiolate-based precursors to metal sulfides) and the McMillan group (synthesis of nitrogen-containing graphenes).
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