The Science & Technology
of Glass
Cambridge - Monday 4th to
Wednesday 6th September 2017

Benjamin Allsopp

article posted 22 May 2017

Ben obtained his MChem degree at the University of Huddersfield in 2014, in the same year he joined the Materials and Engineering Institute (MERI) at Sheffield Hallam University as a PhD student under the supervision of Dr Paul A. Bingham. He has done research in synthesis of lead apatite crystals for the prevention of lead leaching into drinking water, organic synthesis of photochromic benzochromenes, and glasses for photovoltaic applications. His research interests now lie in amorphous materials and solar energy improvements.

Optical and structural properties of PbO doped silicate glasses
Benjamin Allsopp*1 & Paul A. Bingham1

1Materials and Engineering Research Institute, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK

Lead crystal glass is known for its high refractive index which gives optical brilliance to articles produced using it. However, our research has shown that this brilliance may also be due in part to a strong broadband visible fluorescence band centered at 400nm and arising from UV excitation. A series of Na2O-SiO2-CaO glasses containing 0 to 7.5 mol% of lead oxide (PbO) was prepared by a standard melt quenching technique. It has been demonstrated that PbO-doped SLS glass and a commercial 24 weight % PbO lead crystal glass give rise to strong visible fluorescence from UV excitation (fig. 1; see also [1]). Electronic transitions associated with this fluorescence are related to those found in the corresponding Bi2O3 doped systems (fig. 2, see also [2]). Initial analyses using UV-Vis-NIR optical absorption spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy, in conjunction with Raman spectroscopy, XRF and XRD, have been used to investigate the optical and structural properties of these glasses.

[1] D. Ehrt, “Photoluminescence in the UV–VIS region of polyvalent ions in glasses,” J. Non. Cryst. Solids, vol. 348, pp. 22–29, 2004.
[2] S. Parke and R. S. Webb, “The optical properties of thallium, lead, and bismuth in oxide glasses,” J. Phys. Chem. Solids, vol. 34, pp. 85–95, 1973.