The innovation engine for new materials

Alasdair Morrison


University of Oxford


Materials Science


Alex Birkel

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Professor Ram Seshadri

Faculty Sponsor's Department: 


Project Title: 

Rapid synthesis of EU2+ phosphors for whitelight generation using domestic microwave ovens

Project Description: 

White light emitting diodes may be obtained using phosphors that absorb light at a short wavelength and re-emit at a longer wavelength. Short wavelength input is obtained using high efficiency blue or ultraviolet light-emitting diodes. It has been noted in a number of active research areas that solid state synthesis of materials can be performed rapidly through the use of domestic microwave ovens. Optimisation of this process has been performed for the Ca2MgSi2O7:Eu2+ phosphor to give the greatest reduction in processing time and energy as compared to the furnace synthesised phosphor. Investigations were performed into the effects of insulation type, orientation and position within the microwave cavity. Power input and heating times were optimised and additional investigations were made into the amount of material that may be synthesised in each reaction. The obtained phosphor was characterised using X-ray diffraction coupled with Reitveld analysis. Fluorometry measurements for the phosphor were made for the powder form and once incorporated in a device. High purity Eu2+ phosphors were obtained using microwave synthesis following optimisation of the large number of parameters that effect microwave processing. This was found to be reproducible and showed the possibility of scaling up.