Correlation between Cr³⁺ Luminescence and Oxygen Vacancy Disorder in Strontium Titanate under MeV Ion Irradiation


Strontium titanate (SrTiO3), a model system with a strongly correlated electronic structure, has attracted much attention recently because of its outstanding physicochemical properties and considerable potentials for technological applications. The capability to control oxygen vacancy profiles and their effect on valence states of cations will increase significantly the functionality of devices based on transition metal oxides. This work presents new insights into the near-infrared luminescence emission of Cr3+ centers in stoichiometric SrTiO3 induced using 3 MeV protons at temperatures of 100 K, 170 K, and room temperature. The study covers a wide spectral range, including near-infrared, visible, and near-UV regions. Our main purpose is to investigate the role of the oxygen vacancies introduced by energetic charged particles on the shape and yield of induced luminescence spectra, in particular to explore the interplay between the Cr3+ luminescence at 1.55 eV and oxygen disorder. A clear correlation is found between the decay of the Cr luminescence yield during irradiation and the growth of a band at 2.0 eV, well-resolved below 170 K, which has been very recently attributed to d-d transitions of electrons self-trapped as Ti3+ in the close vicinity of oxygen vacancies. This correlation suggests irradiation-induced oxidation of the Cr3+ (Cr3+ → Crn+, n > 3) via trapping of irradiation-induced holes, while the partner electrons are self-trapped as Ti3+. These new results provide effective guidelines for further understanding the electronic and photocatalytic behavior of STO:Cr3+.


Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science


This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division. M.L.C. and J.T.G. acknowledge support from the University of Tennessee Governor's Chair program.

Keywords and Phrases

Charged particles; Electronic structure; Infrared devices; Ion bombardment; Irradiation; Lanthanum compounds; Luminescence; Oxygen; Strontium; Strontium titanates; Titanium compounds; Transition metal compounds; Transition metals; Vacancies; Energetic charged particles; Luminescence spectrum; MeV ion irradiation; Near infrared luminescence; Photocatalytic behaviors; Physicochemical property; Technological applications; Transition-metal oxides; Oxygen vacancies

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1932-7447; 1932-7455

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2017