Grown by the Verneuil method MgO·nAl2O3single crystals and natural spinel crystal have been studied using X-ray diffraction and photoluminescence spectra. The fast neutron irradiation of magnesium aluminium spinel leads to the lattice parameter decrease. The bond lengths of Mg-O and Al-O vary with the u-parameter and the lattice parameter. On the other hand, the bond lengths are related with the inversion parameter. Using changes of the lattice parameter during irradiation we have calculated the inversion parameter, which is 15-20%. In the luminescence spectra, the fast neutron radiation (fluence 1016cm-2) produces an increase in the intensity ratio of the N- to R-lines by 5-20%. Taking into account that intensity of the N-lines is closely associated with the inversion parameter, it is possible to state that the neutron irradiation causes the increasing of the spinel inversion. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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