> PRE10 – April 2010 Florence, Italy

The program committee was chaired by Giancarlo C. Righini, Maurizio Ferrari and Setsuhisa Tanabe.

The hot topics at the moment were clearly: (1) wavelength up- and down-conversion for efficient photovoltaic systems for solar energy and (2) white light generation based on phosphor-LED combinations.

The program consisted of 56 oral presentations (of which 16 invited) plus 40 poster communications. A broad spectrum of RE-doped materials was covered, ranging from glasses and glass-ceramics (oxides, fluorides and chalcogenides), to nanoparticles (NPs) and crystalline phosphor materials. The types of structures varied from bulk glasses, to optical fibers, fiber lasers and films. In the latter case, the films were prepared by physical vapour deposition or, more frequently, by sol-gel.

The conference started with a plenary talk by Renata Reisfeld on New developments in solar energy utilization, where sol-gel was singled out as one of the important enabling technologies for solar energy.

In the program which followed, eleven of the papers presented involved sol-gel as the materials processing method.

In particular, there were presentations dealing with the following topics:

(1) three papers dealing with sol-gel for the preparation of RE-doped NPs (Investigation of the luminescence properties of SnO2: Eu3+ nano particles prepared by hydrothermal route; Up-conversion in rare earth-doped core-shell nanoparticles for biomedical applications; Luminescence improvement of materials consisting of nanocrystalline metal particles and Tb(III) ions entrapped in oxide xerogel);

(2) other three dealing with RE-doped phosphors (Preparation of Eu3+-doped Ta2O5 phosphor particle by sol-gel method; Photoluminescence properties of nanocrystalline La2TeO6: Eu3+/Tb3+ phosphors prepared by Pechini sol-gel method; Synthesis of macroporous Ce3+:Y3Al5O12 crystal via sol-gel route accompanied by phase separation and its application to scattering-based hole burning);

(3) two papers dealing with photonic crystals (Rare earth fluorides and oxy-fluorides in inverse opals; Photoluminescence from Tb-doped 1-D triple microcavity for white light generation);

(4) one dealing with ceramic monoliths (Synthesis and Characterization of Titania and Zirconia doped Tb3+ monoliths grown by Sol-Gel Process);

(5) one with planar waveguides (Tb3+/Yb3+ co-activated silica-hafnia glass ceramic waveguides);

(6) and one with nano glass-ceramics (Up- and down-conversion in sol-gel derived Yb3+-Pr3+ co-doped SiO2-LaF3 nano-glass-ceramics).

The next conference in this series, PRE12, will be in Kyoto (Japan), in 2012 and it will be organized by Setsuhisa Tanabe, probably in April.

reported by Rui Almeida