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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

Thermoluminescence as a Research Tool to Investigate Luminescence Mechanisms

Luminescence Materials, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, 2629JB Delft, The Netherlands
Materials 2017, 10(12), 1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma10121357
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
Thermally stimulated luminescence (TSL) is known as a technique used in radiation dosimetry and dating. However, since the luminescence is very sensitive to the defects in a solid, it can also be used in material research. In this review, it is shown how TSL can be used as a research tool to investigate luminescent characteristics and underlying luminescent mechanisms. First, some basic characteristics and a theoretical background of the phenomenon are given. Next, methods and difficulties in extracting trapping parameters are addressed. Then, the instrumentation needed to measure the luminescence, both as a function of temperature and wavelength, is described. Finally, a series of very diverse examples is given to illustrate how TSL has been used in the determination of energy levels of defects, in the research of persistent luminescence phosphors, and in phenomena like band gap engineering, tunnelling, photosynthesis, and thermal quenching. It is concluded that in the field of luminescence spectroscopy, thermally stimulated luminescence has proven to be an experimental technique with unique properties to study defects in solids. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermoluminescence; trap depth; energy level; rare earth ions; persistent luminescence; band gap engineering; tunnelling; photosynthesis; thermal quenching thermoluminescence; trap depth; energy level; rare earth ions; persistent luminescence; band gap engineering; tunnelling; photosynthesis; thermal quenching
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Bos, A.J.J. Thermoluminescence as a Research Tool to Investigate Luminescence Mechanisms. Materials 2017, 10, 1357.

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