Extensive work has been reported on making nanometre sized phosphors to keep up with continuing trends of high
resolution displays and nanotechnology. However most of these nanophosphors suffer from surface agglomeration.
Thus, a novel method has been developed to prepare discrete phosphor nanoparticles. The precursor phosphor powders
obtained from solution by the urea precipitation method were coated with silica. Coating with silica before firing the
precursor avoids sintering the particles which occurs when the precursors are fired to convert them into phosphors. The
coated precursors were fired with ethanol at desired temperatures to get core-shell particles consisting of nanophosphor
cores in silica shells. The silica coating was removed by washing with NaOH solution to liberate discrete phosphor
nanoparticles. The particle size analysis results of these discrete phosphors show a narrow particle size distribution in the
sub-micrometre range. The emission and excitation spectra have been obtained, and compared with those of commercial
phosphors. These nanophosphors can be incorporated into printable ink formulations and might find applications in high
resolution display devices.