Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 206–216 | Cite as

A new route for the preparation of CoAl2O4 nanoblue pigments with high uniformity and its optical properties

  • Huajing Gao
  • Hua Yang
  • Shifa Wang
  • Danming Li
  • Fei Wang
  • Leiming Fang
  • Li Lei
  • Yuhua Xiao
  • Guixia Yang
Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for optical, photonic and optoelectronic applications


Gamma-ray irradiation assisted polyacrylamide gel route was used to prepare CoAl2O4 nanoblue pigments. In this route, citric acid was used as a carboxyl and hydroxyl type chelating agent. The phase purity, morphology, and optical and fluorescence properties of as-prepared samples were analyzed via X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV–Visible spectrophotometer, and a confocal Raman system. XRD analysis indicates that the xerogel sintered at relatively low temperature (500 °C) to obtain single phase CoAl2O4 nanopowders. The primary crystal of CoAl2O4 nanoblue pigment is only 28 nm characterized by TEM, which is more likely to be realized with high uniformity than that the CoAl2O4 nanopowders prepared by conventional polyacrylamide gel route. Optical properties of CoAl2O4 nanoblue pigment shows that the optical energy gap (Eg) of nanoblue pigment increases with the decrease of crystallite size. The CIE parameter of CoAl2O4 nanoblue pigment indicates that a different sintering temperature causes a variation in the color of nanoparticles. The fluorescence spectra show that a major blue emission band around 400 nm and a weaker side band located at 430 nm are observed when the excitation wavelength is 325 nm. The chelation mechanism and fluorescence mechanism of the CoAl2O4 nanoblue pigment have been analyzed based on the experimental results.

A cubic nano-CoAl2O4 pigments were synthesized by γ-ray irradiation assisted polyacrylamide gel route. The nano-CoAl2O4 pigments with high uniformity than that the CoAl2O4 nanopowders prepared by conventional polyacrylamide gel route. The SAED pattern revealed that the CoAl2O4 nanoparticles possess interplanar spacing of 2.8651, 2.4434, 2.0258, 1.5586, 1.4327, 1.3657, and 1.1549 Å corresponding to the (220), (311), (400), (511), (440), (531), and (444) planes, respectively. The UV–Vis absorption spectrum shows three obvious absorption peaks at 551, 590, and 628 nm and the CIE parameter is consistent with the real photos.


Polyacrylamide gel route CoAl2O4 Nanoblue pigment Chelation mechanism Fluorescence mechanism 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51662027, and 61540043).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Advanced Processing and Recycling of Non-Ferrous MetalsLanzhou University of TechnologyLanzhouChina
  2. 2.School of ScienceLanzhou University of TechnologyLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Science and Technology on Vacuum Technology and Physics LaboratoryLanzhou Institute of PhysicsLanzhouChina
  4. 4.Institute of Nuclear Physics and ChemistryChina Academy of Engineering PhysicsMianyangChina
  5. 5.Institute of Atomic and Molecular PhysicsSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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