This paper compares the luminescence of different modifications of silicon dioxide - silica glass, α-quartz crystal and dense octahedron structured stishovite crystal. Under x-ray irradiation of pure silica glass and pure α-quartz crystal, only the luminescence of self-trapped exciton (STE) is detected, excitable only in the range of intrinsic absorption. No STE luminescence was detected in stishovite since, even though its luminescence is excitable below the optical gap, it could not be ascribed to a self-trapped exciton. Under ArF laser excitation of pure α-quartz crystal, luminescence of a self-trapped exciton was detected under two-photon excitation. In silica glass and stishovite mono crystal, we spectrally detected mutually similar luminescences under single-photon excitation of ArF laser. In silica glass, the luminescence of an oxygen deficient center is presented by the so-called twofold coordinated silicon center (L.N. Skuja et al., Solid State Commun. 50, 1069 (1984)). This center is modified with an unknown surrounding or localized states of silica glass (A.N. Trukhin et al., J. Non-Cryst. Solids 248, 40 (1999)). In stishovite, that same luminescence was ascribed to some defect existing after crystal growth. For α-quartz crystal, similar to silica and stishovite, luminescence could be obtained only by irradiation with a lattice damaging source such as a dense electron beam at a temperature below 80 K, as well as by neutron or -irradiation at 290 K.
In spite of a similarity in the luminescence of these three materials (silica glass, stishovite mono crystal and irradiated α-quartz crystal), there are differences that can be explained by the specific characteristics of these materials. In particular, the nature of luminescence excited in the transparency range of stishovite is ascribed to a defect existing in the crystal after-growth. A similarity between stishovite luminescence and that of oxygen-deficient silica glass and radiation induced luminescence of α-quartz crystal presumes a similar nature of the centers in those materials.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.