The focus of present research is on the behaviour of rare earth metals as dopants in zinc oxide rich borophosphate glasses. Attention is turned on the influence of Sm, Eu, Gd and Nd on the structure and optical properties of these new materials. Analysed glasses 71.81 ZnO – 18 B2O3 - 9.69 P2O5 - 0.5 RE2O3 (mol%) were prepared by conventional melting quenching method. The ratio of the main components - ZnO, B2O3, P2O5; the content of the dopant rare earth element (Sm, Eu, Gd, Nd) and the conditions of synthesis and analysis are set on the basis of literature data and our previous studies. The structure of the synthesized samples was investigated by powder X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and infrared spectroscopy, and their optical properties - by photoluminescence analysis.The synthesized rare earth doped glasses are mainly amorphous with the presence of one or more crystalline phases in some of them - SmPO4, GdPO4 and NdPO4. They have the typical structure of borophosphate glasses - the presence of PO4 tetrahedra and BO4 tetrahedra. The high glass transition temperature of the synthesized materials (above 500 °C) is an indication of the stability of the glasses obtained. The RE-doped ZnO-rich borophosphate glasses have a potential for practical application in optical devices for engineering, electronics and medicine.Keywords: Rare earth metals, doped zinc borophosphate glasses, x-ray powder diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, photoluminescence
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