The LumiLab research group, led by the professors Smet and Poelman, is part of the department of Solid State Sciences at Ghent University. Our research is mainly focused on inorganic luminescent materials, and studies the relation between the structural, electronic and optical characteristics of these materials. While we are not afraid of some modelling work, the research is mostly based on experiments. Phosphors are typically synthesized in-house, and analysed using an extensive set of techniques. Applications include materials for LED lighting and backlights, mechanoluminescent and persistent luminescent 'glow-in-the-dark' compounds and materials for optical bio-imaging. In more general terms, all light-matter interactions can catch our interest!


Latest publications


Perkin Elmer multifunctional spectrophotometers

 Two Perkin Elmer Lambda 1050 UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometers for both specular and diffuse transmission and reflection measurements. One of the instruments is dedicated to diffuse transmission and reflection measurements, using an integrating sphere or praying mantis. Using the latter attachment, measurements can be performed under a controller atmosphere and at elevated temperature. The other instrument is equipped with a TAMS (total absolute measurement system) and can be used for angle dependent transmission and reflection measurements under controlled polarization conditions, including measurement of BRDF (bidirectional reflection distribution function) and mapping of wafer surfaces.



Intensified CCD

This instrument is used for measuring integrated and time-resolved optical emission spectra (both electro- and photoluminescence). On periodic signals, a time resolution down to 2 ns can be obtained. It is coupled to a 0.5 m Ebert monochomator. For photoluminescence decay measurements, a 337 nm pulsed nitrogen laser is available (pulse length < 1ns). Using the dye extension, the excitation can be tuned between 360 and 600nm.

Type: Andor DH720

Andor DH720

Ball mill

Planetary ball mill for powerful and quick grinding of material with feed size < 10 mm resulting in a final fineness < 1 µm, or for colloidal grinding < 0.1 µm. This benchtop model consists of 1 grinding station equipped with a ZrO2 grinding jar (50 ml). Both dry and wet grinding are possible.

Type: Retsch PM 100

Ball Mill

UV-VIS-NIR spectrophotometer

Double beam – double monochromator UV-VIS-NIR spectrophotometer for the optical characterisation of thin films. Measurement range from 200 to 3300nm. An extension is available to measure the (diffuse) reflectance of powders and thin films (200 - 2000nm), using an integrating sphere.

Type: Varian Cary 500

 Varian Cary 500

Climate chamber

With this device accelerated aging can be tested at a combination of high temperature and humidity.

Type: Memmert HCP 108

Climate Chamber


Fluorescence spectrometer

Photoluminescence setup, enabling high resolution excitation and emission measurements. The combination of a Xe arc lamp and a double excitation monochromator allows selecting an excitation in the range from 250 to 900nm, with narrow band width and low stray light. At the emission side, two detectors are available for measurements between 300 and 1650nm. The setup can be extended with a cryostat, for measurements between 4 and 500K.

Type: Edinburgh FS920

Edinburgh FS920


Infrared camera

This accurate non-contact temperature sensors offers comprehensive visual temperature monitoring of our experiments.

Type: FLIR A35

FLIR InfraRed Camera



The glovebox working station offers an oxygen-free atmosphere to store and prepare samples.

Type: MBRAUN LABstar



Portable spectrometers

Two portable, USB powered, CCD-based spectrometers. One is optimized for measurements in the 200-950nm range with high sensitivity (QE65000), one is optimized for high resolution in the visible range (HR2000+).

Type: Ocean Optics QE65000 and HR2000+



Scanning electron microscope

Fully automated VP-SEM equipped with a number of extensions for chemical and structural analysis. These features include EDX (energy dispersive x-ray analysis), CL (cathodoluminescence) and a cooling/heating stage.

Type: Hitachi S-3400N



TL/TQ setup

Homemade setup for thermoluminescence spectroscopy with low energy photon excitation.