In this work we analysed the optical and structural properties of Ce:YAG regenerated phosphors. The concentrate resulted as the final product of an industrial recycling process of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), and in particular fluorescent powders coming from spent lamps treatment plant. The waste pristine materials were re-utilized without any further purification and or separation process as starting materials to obtain a YAG matrix (Y2Al5O12) doped with Cerium ions. We tested out the recovered concentrate against commercial Ce:YAG phosphors comparing their structural and optical properties by means of XRD measurements and steady time and time resolved luminescence. The analysis reveals that the new phosphors obtained by scrap powder have the same crystal structure as the commercial reference sample and comparable optical properties. In particular, the Ce-related emission efficiency has a quantum yield of about 0.75 when excited at 450 nm, in good agreement with our reference sample and with the one of commercial powder presently exploited in white LED. This achievement strongly suggests the possibility of a new life for the exhausted phosphors and a possible step forward to a complete circular process for lighting equipment.
New life of recycled rare earth-oxides powders for lighting applications / Ricci, P. C.; Murgia, M.; Carbonaro, C. M.; Sgariotto, S.; Stagi, L.; Corpino, R.; Chiriu, D.; Grilli, M. L.. - In: IOP CONFERENCE SERIES: MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. - ISSN 1757-8981. - 329:1(2018), p. 012002. [10.1088/1757-899X/329/1/012002]