Thermal Degradation of Nitride Phosphors
For SrSi2O2N2:Eu, the PL intensity decreased as the baking temperature rises, degrading by 10 and 30% when the samples baked at 500 and 600oC, respectively. In comparison with Ca-α-sialon:Eu2+ that retained its luminescence up to 800oC, SrSi2O2N2:Eu showed a very serious thermal degradation. By conducting the high-temperature in-situ XRD analysis and TEM observations, an impurity phase of SrSiO3 was identified additionally, as a result of the oxidation of the host SrSi2O2N2. In addition, the activator ions were also oxidized during baking in air, with divalent Eu2+ changed into trivalent Eu3. It indicates that both of the oxidation of host and activators leads to the thermal degradation of SrSi2O2N2:Eu that is an irreversible decrease of luminescence.
For (Sr,Ca)AlSin3:Eu (SCASN), the moisture-induced degradation was comprehensively investigated by treating it under a severe condition of high-pressure water steam. The degradation initiated at 150oC, and the luminescence of SCASN was seen to be quenched quickly, with the powder sample being bleached after the treatment. Both of the microstructure and phase changed obviously with the oxidation, and the host turned finally into NH3, (Sr,Ca)Al2Si2O8 and Ca(OH)2. By using a variety of spectroscopic, surface and microstructure analytic techniques, the degradation mechanism was clarified and proposed to occur viathe oxidant-gas penetration mechanism through the moisture-enhanced oxidation of both the SCASN host and divalent europium.
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