Color-center production and recovery in electron-irradiated magnesium aluminate spinel and ceria

Jean Marc Costantini, Gérald Lelong, Maxime Guillaumet, William J. Weber, Seiya Takaki, Kazuhiro Yasuda

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Single crystals of magnesium aluminate spinel (MgAl2O4) with (1 0 0) or (1 1 0) orientations and cerium dioxide or ceria (CeO2) were irradiated by 1.0 MeV and 2.5 MeV electrons in a high-fluence range. Point-defect production was studied by off-line UV-visible optical spectroscopy after irradiation. For spinel, regardless of both crystal orientation and electron energy, two characteristic broad bands centered at photon energies of 5.4 eV and 4.9 eV were assigned to F and F+ centers (neutral and singly ionized oxygen vacancies), respectively, on the basis of available literature data. No clear differences in color-center formation were observed for the two crystal orientations. Using calculations from displacement cross sections by elastic collisions, these results are consistent with a very large threshold displacement energy (200 eV) for oxygen atoms at room temperature. A third very broad band centered at 3.7 eV might be attributed either to an oxygen hole center (V-type center) or an F2 dimer center (oxygen di-vacancy). The onset of recovery of these color centers took place at 200 °C with almost full bleaching at 600 °C. Activation energies (∼0.3-0.4 eV) for defect recovery were deduced from the isochronal annealing data by using a first-order kinetics analysis. For ceria, a sub-band-gap absorption feature, which peaked at ∼3.1 eV, was recorded for 2.5 MeV electron irradiation only. Assuming a ballistic process, we suggest that the latter defect might result from cerium atom displacement on the basis of computed cross sections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number325901
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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