Time-resolved luminescence spectra of low sensitivity natural quartz from crystalline rocks are presented. The luminescence was pulse-stimulated at 11 μ s width using 470 nm blue light from quartz separated from plutonic, metamorphic, volcanic and hydrothermal samples. Measurements were made at 20 °C. All samples show evidence of a short lifetime component less than 5 μ s long although in several cases too weak in intensity to be evaluated accurately. On the other hand, the value of the principal lifetime component varies considerably being about 86 μ s in metamorphic quartz, 18 μ s in plutonic quartz, and 100 μ s in one example of hydrothermal quartz. The results illustrate a new feature of luminescence from quartz for which lifetimes less than 5 μ s or greater than 75 μ s have never been reported at room temperature before. It is argued that the thermal provenance of the quartz and so the annealing it will have experienced influences the size of the observed lifetime. In particular, the results are explained in terms of a model consisting of three luminescence centers with the dominant lifetime linked to preferential recombination at one center depending on the thermal history of the sample and hence the hole concentration of the center. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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