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A highly unusual lab-created gem material, this specimen of cerium-doped lutetium aluminium garnet glows a brilliant apple-green under UV illumination. It was faceted to reveal its luminescent properties and has excellent clarity, only showing a few small parallel growth residue lines which do not detract from its beauty.

lutetium aluminium garnet (LuAG) host crystals doped with trivalent rare-earths such as yttrium, thulium, erbium and ho form a class of efficient scintillators in diode pumped solid state lasers [1]. The small lattice constant of LuAG yields narrower linewidths and higher absorption and emission cross-sections compared to other rare earth crystals with similar atomic structures.

The low temperature far-infrared transmission of high purity Czochralski grown LuAG single crystals and epitaxial layers has been analyzed using monochromatized synchrotron radiation. In the vicinity of the band gap a characteristic scaling behavior of the Urbach tail was observed, attributed to short term localization of exciton modes coupling to lattice distortions.

The spectroscopic investigation of the luminescence spectrum of calcined LuAG:Ce powders and epitaxial layers revealed that, in addition to well-known Ce3+ multicenters in octahedral sites, two additional types of strongly interacting CE-antisite defects have been found, in which the aluminum atoms replace each other in positions with a different octahedral symmetry than in the normal crystalline structure. The presence of these Ce-antisite defects in the phosphors was confirmed by X-ray diffraction studies and EPR spectroscopy.

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