Three types of precursors were prepared using the wet-chemical synthesis route, starting from yttrium–europium–aluminum nitrate solution and different precipitating agents (urea, oxalic acid, and ammonium carbonate). The precursors were fired at 1200 °C in nitrogen atmosphere in order to obtain europium-doped yttrium aluminate Y3Al5O12:Eu3+ phosphor with garnet structure (YAG:Eu). The processes involved in the thermal decomposition of precursors and their composition were put in evidence using thermal analysis (TG–DTA) and FT-IR spectroscopy. The GA–DTA curves possess typical features for basic-oxalate, -nitrate, and -carbonates as formed with oxalic acid, urea, and ammonium carbonate, respectively. Correlation between the thermal decomposition steps, mass loss, and composition of gases evolved during the thermal treatment was established using TG–DTA–FT-IR coupling. It was found that the different composition of precursors reflects on the luminescent characteristics of the corresponding phosphors. Urea and ammonium carbonate lead to the formation of YAG type phosphors, with garnet structure and specific red emission. As for the oxalic acid, this precipitating agent generates a non-homogeneous powder that contains yttrium oxide as impurity phase. This phosphor is a mixture of Y2O3:Eu3+, Y4Al2O9:Eu3+, and Y3Al5O12:Eu3+ that explain the relative higher emission intensity.
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