Dependence of fluorescence lifetimes of Y2O3 : Eu3+ nanoparticles on the surrounding medium
The radiative lifetime, tau(R), of the D-5(0) metastable excited state of Eu3+ ions in nanocrystalline monoclinic Y2O3 samples is about four times longer than that in the micron size powder of the same material. The Eu3+ radiative lifetime was measured in nanocrystals surrounded with air as well as those immersed in different liquids. It is shown that the radiative lifetime changes with the index of refraction of the immersion medium and provides a unique test of the standard formula relating tau(R) and the oscillator strength. The magnitude of the effect is determined by the "filling factor" (the fraction of the sample volume occupied by nanocrystals) which can therefore be determined. [S0163-1829(99)51144-2].