Cathodoluminescence characterization of tridymite and cristobalite: Effects of electron irradiation and sample temperature

Masahiro Kayama, Hirotsugu Nishido, Kiyotaka Ninagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Cathodoluminescence (CL) spectra of tridymite and cristobalite have broad peaks around 430 and 400 nm, respectively, both of which can be assigned to the [AlO4/M+]0 defect. The CL intensities of these spectral peaks in the blue region decrease with prolonged exposure to electron irradiation, similar to the short-lived luminescence observed in quartz, although quartz shows a lower decrease in CL intensity compared to these minerals. Cristobalite has a higher CL intensity reduction rate during irradiation than does tridymite. Irradiation of these minerals at low temperatures results in a more rapid decay of CL emission, whereas that of quartz shows no apparent change in the rate of CL emission at similar temperatures. Confocal micro-Raman spectroscopy of the electron irradiated surface of these minerals reveals the amorphization caused by the interaction of the electron beam with the surface layer to a depth of several micrometers. This suggests that such structural destruction diminishes the activity of CL emission centers related to the [AlO4/M+]0 defects by migration of monovalent cations associated with exchanged Al in the tetrahedral sites. Both samples present a considerable reduction of their CL intensities at higher temperature, suggesting a temperature quenching phenomenon. The activation energy in the quenching process was evaluated by a least-squares fitting of the Arrhenius plots, assuming the Mott-Seitz model. The result implies that the energy of non-radiative transition in this process might be transferred to lattice vibrations as phonons in two different manners. This might be related to different irradiation responses of the CL with a change in sample temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1028
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Mineralogist
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul


  • Cathodoluminescence
  • Cristobalite
  • Electron irradiation
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Temperature quenching
  • Tridymite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cathodoluminescence characterization of tridymite and cristobalite: Effects of electron irradiation and sample temperature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this