The structural origin of luminescence in rare earth doped glasses.

Gavin Mountjoy & Ting Qin

University of Kent

Rare earth doped glasses have extremely important applications in lasers and fibre amplifiers. These applications rely on the optical transitions among the 4f electrons of the rare earth ion, which are subtly influenced by the neighbouring atoms. We have carried out a detailed study of Eu3+ doped sodium silicate glass combining EXAFS, molecular dynamics, and crystal field theory. The optical spectra can be simulated entirely from MD models, and show good agreement with experimental optical spectra. Detailed inspection of the models shows how the neighbouring atoms influence the optical spectra, and in particular, the importance of the rotational invariants of bond orientational order.