Recently developed laser-based measurement techniques are used to image the temperatures and velocities in gas flows. They require new phosphor materials with an unprecedented combination of properties. A novel synthesis procedure is described here; it results in hierarchically structured, hollow microspheres of Eu3+-doped Y2O3, with unusual particle sizes and very good characteristics compared to full particles. Solution-based precipitation on polymer microballoons produces very stable and luminescent, ceramic materials of extremely low density. As a result of the - compared to established template-directed syntheses - reduced mass of polymer that is lost upon calcination, micron-sized particles are obtained with mesoporous walls, low defect concentrations, and nanoscale wall thicknesses. They can be produced with larger diameters (~25 μm) compared to known hollow spheres and exhibit an optimized flow behavior. Their temperature sensing properties and excellent fluidic follow-up behavior are shown by determining emission intensity ratios in a specially designed heating chamber. Emission spectroscopy and imaging, electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction results are presented for aerosolizable Y2O3 with an optimized dopant concentration (8%). Challenges in the field of thermofluids can be addressed by combined application of thermometry and particle image velocimetry with such hollow microparticles.
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