Europium doped Gd2O3 sphere-like nanoparticles with dm = 9.3 ± 3.5 nm were synthesized by cw CO2 laser vaporization technique in a flowing mixture of argon and oxygen. According to XRD data, the Eu:Gd2O3 nanoparticles crystallize in the monoclinic symmetry class (C2/m space group). High-resolution luminescence spectroscopy study showed that the ultra-narrow 5D0 → 7F0 transition of Eu3+ demonstrates only two peaks corresponding to two inequivalent Cs positions of Eu3+ ion in monoclinic Gd2O3 lattice that is explained by the peculiarities of local environment of Eu3+ ion at these sites. The hypersensitive transition 5D0 → 7F2 dominates in the spectrum and is expanded to the red part of the spectrum in comparison with cubic Eu:Gd2O3 due to intense transitions terminating at higher-lying components of the crystal-field-split 7F2 state. In the luminescence spectrum, an additional weak band with the maximum at 407 nm corresponding to the electronic transitions 4f65 d1(7FJ) → 4f7(8S7/2) of Eu2+ was detected. The obtained values of chromaticity coordinates and absolute quantum yield are (0.644; 0.325) and ca. 1%, respectively. The phase transformations have been investigated using differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetry (50–1400 °C). After annealing in air at 700 °C, the monoclinic symmetry class of the Eu:Gd2O3 nanoparticles is preserved and the particle size increases to dm = 17.8 ± 6.1 nm. After annealing, the chromaticity coordinates (0.659; 0.334) and absolute quantum yield (ca. 4%) can be obtained using red phosphor based on monoclinic Gd2O3:Eu3+. The lifetime of the excited 5D0 state of Eu3+ in the annealed nanoparticles is longer than that in the as-synthesized nanoparticles, due to the suppression of nonradiative decay after annealing.
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