Glasses with the system (84.60-x) NaPO3-5 ZnO-(9.40-x) NaF-x Ag2O-1 Er2O3, (x = 0, 2, 4, and 6) (mol%) were synthesized by the conventional melt-quenching method. The impact of the addition of Ag2O on the physical, thermal, structural, and optical properties of the glasses is discussed. The Judd-Oflet analysis was used to evaluate the radiative properties of the emission transitions of the glasses. The enhancement of luminescence properties due to Ag2O is discussed in terms of consequent changes in the local electromagnetic field, symmetry, and the ligand field around the Er3+ ion. The heat treatment of the glass was performed in order to precipitate Ag nanoparticles (NPs), which form as a layer at the surface of the heat-treated glasses as confirmed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The Ag NPs were found to increase the intensity of the emission at 1.5 µm.
Keywords: Ag nanoclusters; energy transfer; erbium; fluoro-phosphate glasses; optical gain.