Time-resolved optical stimulation of luminescence has become established as a key method for measurement of optically stimulated luminescence from quartz, feldspar and α-Al2O3:C, all materials of interest in dosimetry. The aim of time-resolved optical stimulation is to separate in time the stimulation and emission of luminescence. The luminescence is stimulated from a sample using a brief light pulse and the emission monitored during stimulation in the presence of scattered stimulating light or after pulsing, over photomultiplier noise only. Although the use of the method in retrospective dosimetry has been somewhat limited, the technique has been successfully applied to study mechanisms in the processes leading up to luminescence emission. The main means for this has been the temperature dependence of the luminescence intensity as well as the luminescence lifetimes determined from time-resolved luminescence spectra. In this paper we review some key developments in theory and applications to quartz including methods of evaluating lifetimes, techniques of evaluating kinetic parameters using both the dependence of luminescence intensity and lifetime on measurement temperature, and of lifetimes on annealing temperature. We then provide an overview of some notable applications such as separation of quartz signals from a quartz-feldspar admixture and the utility of the dynamic throughput, a measure of luminescence measured as a function of the pulse width. The paper concludes with some suggestions of areas where further exploration would advance understanding of dynamics of luminescence in quartz and help address some outstanding problems in its application.
- Luminescence lifetimes
- Time-resolved optical stimulation