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Photoluminescence and Visible Diffuse-Reflection Spectroscopic Evidence of Samarium Reduction in Air-Fired Samples of Mixed Samarium: Strontium Tetraborate Precipitates

Volume 67, Number 3 (March 2013) Page 279-282


Photoluminescence and visible diffuse-reflection spectroscopies have provided evidence of the reduction of samarium to the divalent state in samarium-doped strontium borate and pure samarium borate samples. The samples were prepared by the air firing of homogeneous precipitates of divalent strontium and trivalent samarium ions from aqueous solutions with saturated sodium tetraborate. The use of this method in the preparation of divalent lanthanide ions has not been reported previously. Reduced samarium was observed in fired tetraborate precipitates prepared with solutions containing 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 75, and 90 mole percent samarium versus strontium. Divalent samarium also was identified in fired precipitates of trivalent samarium solutions precipitated with tetraborate. Sm2+ was identified as the primary emitting species in each of the eight compositions. However, diffuse-reflection spectroscopy indicated the presence of trivalent samarium in the studied samples, ranging from minimal for samples prepared with low samarium concentrations to nearly exclusive when pure samarium was studied. Quenching of the characteristic emission associated with the trivalent species is believed to result in the absence of the emission features arising from residual samarium(III) in the products. Although the absence of trivalent samarium emission enhanced the ability of emission spectroscopy to identify small amounts of divalent samarium, indicating that reduction had occurred, it limited the ability of this method to determine the extent of the reduction. Diffuse-reflection spectroscopy's ability to look at both species provided a much better analysis of the extent of samarium reduction.

Index Headings: Divalent samarium; Photoluminescence spectroscopy; Diffuse-reflection spectroscopy.