Title

Probing grain boundaries in ceramic scintillators using x-ray radioluminescence microscopy

Authors

Authors

S. R. Podowitz; R. M. Gaume;R. S. Feigelson

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

J. Appl. Phys.

Keywords

SURFACE RECOMBINATION VELOCITY; SENSITIZED SOLAR-CELLS; BEAM-INDUCED; CURRENT; ELECTRONIC-STRUCTURE; ELECTRICAL-PROPERTIES; SINGLE-CRYSTAL; LUMINESCENCE; YAG; TRANSPORT; DEFECTS; Physics, Applied

Abstract

X-ray radioluminescence microscopy (XRLM), a novel fluorescence microscopy technique under focused x-ray excitation, was used to characterize micro-scale luminescence of Eu:Y2O3 and Ce:YAG transparent ceramics and bicrystals. The diffusion length of a known semiconductor measured by XRLM was found to be in agreement with previously measured values, illustrating its use for characterizing charge carrier transport. Emission intensity was found to drop at the boundaries in both Eu:Y2O3 and Ce:YAG ceramics and bicrystals. The depletion in emission at grain boundaries was ultimately found to be related to charge carrier depletion (through either deep trapping or non-radiative recombination). A charge carrier diffusion model was used to understand the effect of grain boundaries on charge carrier transport in these scintillators. The diffusion model was found to accurately predict the spatial distribution of emission in a Ce:YAG single-crystal as a function of x-ray excitation energy. Structural and chemical characterization of grain boundaries in an Eu:Y2O3 ceramic using transmission electron microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry mapping showed an ordered boundary region and no detectable segregation of impurities or Eu, justifying the use of an abrupt boundary condition to determine boundary recombination velocities in these materials. The boundary recombination velocities were then used to show that, for ceramics with grain sizes > similar to 20 mu m, there would be a minimal effect from the detected charge carrier depletion at grain boundaries on their bulk x-ray radioluminescence intensity. Ultimately, this study illustrates how this new XRLM technique can be used to measure charge carrier diffusion properties and how it may be coupled with microstructural and micro-scale chemical analyses to fully investigate the effect of grain boundaries on scintillator properties. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [doi: 10.1063/1.3676222]

Journal Title

Journal of Applied Physics

Volume

111

Issue/Number

1

Publication Date

1-1-2012

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

12

WOS Identifier

WOS:000299127200035

ISSN

0021-8979

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