The application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to luminescent materials is described. Many solids doped with europium are luminescent, i.e., when irradiated with light they emit light of a longer wavelength. These materials therefore have practical applications in tuning the light output of devices like light emitting diodes. The optical properties are very different for the two possible valence states Eu
, the former producing ultraviolet/visible light that shifts from violet to red depending on the host and the latter red light, so it is important to have a knowledge of their behavior in a sample environment. Photoluminescence spectra cannot give a quantitative analysis of Eu
ions. Mössbauer spectroscopy, however, is more powerful and gives a separate spectrum for each oxidation state enabling the relative amount present to be estimated. The oxidation state can be identified from its isomer shift which is between
mm/s for Eu
compared to around 0 mm/s for Eu
. Furthermore, within each oxidation state, there are changes depending on the ligands attached to the europium: the shift is more positive for increased covalency of the bonding ligand X, or Eu concentration, and decreases for increasing Eu–X bond length.
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