Mckittrick group

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering Program

Rare-earth doped Nitride Synthesis

The McKittrick lab is interested in rare-earth doped nitride materials due to its application in solid state lighting.  As a luminescent material, nitride based alloys are already widely used in blue and green LEDs.  Rare-earth doped nitrides proved to be another avenue to achieve luminescence from nitride alloys.


Nitride alloy synthesis in our lab is conducted by two methods: combustion synthesis using aqueous nitrates and organic fuels (as outlined in our ZnO bandgap engineering project) , and a 3-step solution synthesis through the sequential conversion of hydroxide to fluoride to nitride.


Both methods allow the intimate mixing of the host and dopant ions in the solution phase, thereby promoting the formation of a single phase nitride material in the end product.


Successful incorporation of the rare-earth dopants is evidenced by the luminescence spectra as shown in the slideshow below.  Emission in the red, green, and blue region of the visible spectrum is achieved by using Eu3+, Tb3+, and Tm3+ as the RE dopant.


Following the synthesis of luminescent nitride powders, we also deposit thin films of the same composition as the powders using a laboratory scale RF sputtering chamber.  The optical properties of the powders and thin films can then be compared.


Maintained by: Ekaterina Evdokimenko

Last Updated April 3, 2013