Journal of luminescence vol:117 issue:2 pages:163-169
Sol-gel glasses with covalently linked lanthanide complexes are luminescent materials which can be processed at ambient temperatures, which have a good solubility and uniform distribution of the complexes in the host matrix. In this study, a luminescent terbium(III) complex was covalently coupled to an organic inorganic hybrid material prepared by the sol-gel process. This was realised by use of nicotinate groups as the ligands for the terbium(III) ion. The [Tb(C5H4NCO2)(3)(phen)(H2O)(2)] complex was immobilised on the sol-gel glass matrix and showed a green photoluminescence upon irradiation with ultraviolet light. The nicotinate groups act as an antenna to absorb the incident light and channel the excitation energy to the terbium(III) ion. The sol-gel glass was also prepared for the corresponding europium(III) complex. In this case, excitation of the europium(III) ion was possible via both the nicotinate ligands and the 1,10-phenanthroline ligands. High-resolution luminescence and excitation spectra were recorded and the radiative lifetimes were measured.