The quantification of radiation damage in orthophosphates using confocal μ-luminescence spectroscopy of Nd3+

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Frontiers Media S.A.
In this study, we present a new concept based on the steady-state, laser-induced photoluminescence of Nd3+, which aims at a direct determination of the amorphous fraction f a in monazite- and xenotime-type orthophosphates on a micrometer scale. Polycrystalline, cold-pressed, sintered LaPO4, and YPO4 ceramics were exposed to quadruple Au-ion irradiation with ion energies 35 MeV (50% of the respective total fluence), 22 MeV (21%), 14 MeV (16%), and 7 MeV (13%). Total irradiation fluences were varied in the range 1.6 × 1013–6.5 × 1013 ions/cm2. Ion-irradiation resulted in amorphization and damage accumulation unto a depth of ~5 μm below the irradiated surfaces. The amorphous fraction created was quantified by means of surface-sensitive grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction and photoluminescence spectroscopy using state-of-the-art confocal spectrometers with spatial resolution in the μm range. Monazite-type LaPO4 was found to be more susceptible to ion-irradiation induced damage accumulation than xenotime-type YPO4. Transmission electron microscopy of lamella cut from irradiated surfaces with the focused-ion beam technique confirmed damage depth-profiles with those obtained from PL hyperspectral mapping. Potential analytical advantages that arise from an improved characterization and quantification of radiation damage (i.e., f a) on the μm-scale are discussed. © 2019 Lenz, Thorogood, Aughterson, Ionescu, Gregg, Davis and Lumpkin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).
X-ray diffraction, Physical radiation effects, Ions, Neodymium, Phosphates
Lenz, C., Thorogood, G., Aughterson, R., Ionescu, M., Gregg, D. J., Davis, J., & Lumpkin, G. R. (2019). The quantification of radiation damage in orthophosphates using confocal μ-luminescence spectroscopy of Nd3+. Frontiers in chemistry, 7, Article 13. doi:10.3389/fchem.2019.00013