Laser-induced luminescence of rare-earth elements in natural fluor-apatites

R. Reisfeld, M. Gaft, G. Boulon, C. Panczer, C. K. Jørgensen

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The luminescence spectra of naturally occurring fluor-apatites containing traces of rare-earth elements have been compared with synthetic fluor-apatites to which single rare-earth elements have been intentionally added. Comparison of the laser-induced spectra obtained after different time delays allows identification of the following luminescence centers: Ce3+, Pr3+, Nd3+, Sm3+, Eu3+, Tb3+, Dy3+, Er3+, Tm3+, Yb3+ and possibly Yb2+. The technique described here allowed for the first time to detect the luminescence of Pr3+, Eu3+, Er3+, Tm3+ and Yb3+ in natural apatites. Our results were compared with those obtained by ICP and correspondence was observed between the two methods. Our findings allow non-destructive detection by laser light of the different rare-earth elements in apatite minerals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-353
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Luminescence
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 11 Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Apatites
  • Fluorescence
  • Lantanides


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