Colloidal Cerium Oxide Nanoparticle: Synthesis and Characterization Techniques

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Virginia Tech

Fluorescence spectra and UV-Vis absorption spectra are collected on cerium oxide nanocrystalline particles. While CeO2 is the stable form of bulk cerium oxide, ceria nanoparticles exhibit a nonstoichiometric composition, CeO2-γ, due to the presence of oxygen vacancies and the formation of Ce2O3 at the grain boundaries. The Ce(III) ions, which are more reactive and therefore more desirable for various applications, are created by oxygen vacancies, which act as defects in the CeO2-γ crystal lattice. These defects form trap states in the band gap of CeO2, which can be seen in the absorption spectra. Ce(III) is required for fluorescence of the ceria nanoparticles while Ce(IV) is involved in only nonradiative transitions. The optical spectroscopy results show that the ceria samples have different ratios of Ce(III) ions to Ce(IV) ions, which is verified by x-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS).

Cerium Oxide, Optical Spectroscopy, Absorption