Coleman, A.P. and Rutt, H.N.
Inorganic solvent systems for lanthanide ions
Optical Materials, 5, (3), . (doi:10.1016/0925-3467(95)00062-3).
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Lanthanide ions dissolved in low vibrational frequency inorganic liquids have potential applications in laser systems requiring long non radiative lifetimes such as mid infrared and up conversion lasers. The use of liquids, whilst presenting some thermal and technological problems, avoids costly crystal growth and fabrication and gives great flexibility in varying lanthanide species, doping levels and co-doping. We report an extensive study of solvent systems based on POCl3, PSCl3, PBr3, PCl3, AsCl3, SbCl3 and SbBr3. The relatively well known POCl3 system is found to show a far more complex behaviour than the early literature suggests because of formation of the adduct 2POCl3:SnCl4. The other species except for PBr3 and PCl3 prove unsuitable owing to the ready production of absorbing species. PBr3 and PCl3 produce solvent systems when combined with the Lewis acids AlBr3 and SbBr3 or AlCl3 and SbCl3 respectively. The energy levels of all laser relevant lanthanide ions below ~ 20000 /cm were determined in the PBr3 solvent system, and correlations between the required Lewis acid concentration and the lanthanide element found. Comparison of the spectra in various solvents leads to preliminary conclusions about the lanthanide ion coordination.
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