Development of New Luminescent Materials

Frequently luminescent glasses are produced using costly elements such as lanthanides, therefore the use of common and inexpensive raw materials is fundamental for future sustainability.

Current research at Vicarte focuses on the production of innovative luminescent glasses using economically available elements such as copper or manganese, that can be useful not only in art but also for lighting and/or photovoltaic cells. We are also aiming to develop stable luminescent glasses, based in gold, silver and copper clusters, which can confer luminescence and also enhance the luminescence of other emissive species. A systematic study of the glass luminescence will be performed, leading to an optimization of the luminescent properties. 

New surface colouring techniques to introduce luminescence in the final phase of glass production will also be explored. Not only non-toxic glass-based paints (without lead) will be developed, but also different inorganic materials will be used, as for example porous materials such as zeolites which are stable and cost-effective. We already produced luminescent sodalite zeolites, with S2-clusters as emissive centres. The developed materials will be applied to glass substrates using techniques such as spray, screen-printing or inkjet. 

The work performed will have results in terms of photophysical properties of the produced glasses, from a commercial perspective that can arise from new materials, in exhibitions of new art pieces.