Inorganic Chemistry, Vol.56, No.16, 9814-9824, 2017
Metaheuristics-Assisted Combinatorial Screening of Eu2+-Doped Ca-Sr-Ba-Li-Mg-Al-Si-Ge-N Compositional Space in Search of a Narrow-Band Green Emitting Phosphor and Density Functional Theory Calculations
A metaheuristics-based design would be of great help in relieving the enormous experimental burdens faced during the combinatorial screening of a huge, multidimensional search space, while providing the same effect as total enumeration. In order to tackle the high-throughput powder processing complications and to secure practical phosphors, metaheuristics, an elitism-reinforced nondominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II), was employed in this study. The NSGA-II iteration targeted two objective functions. The first was to search for a higher emission efficacy. The second was to search for narrow-band green color emissions. The NSGA-II iteration finally converged on BaLi2Al2Si2N6:Eu2+ phosphors in the Eu2+-doped Ca-Sr-Ba-Li-Mg-Al-Si-Ge-N compositional search space. The BaLi2Al2Si2N6:Eu2+ phosphor, which was synthesized with no human intervention via the assistance of NSGA-II, was a clear single phase and gave an acceptable luminescence. The BaLi2Al2Si2N6:Eu2+ phosphor as well as all other phosphors that appeared during the NSGA-II iterations were examined in detail by employing powder X-ray diffraction-based Rietveld refinement, X-ray absorption near edge structure, density functional theory calculation, and time-resolved photoluminescence. The thermodynamic stability and the band structure plausibility were confirmed, and more importantly a novel approach to the energy transfer analysis was also introduced for BaLi2Al2Si2N6:Eu2+ phosphors.