The luminescence and scintillation properties of the gadolinium yttrium aluminium garnets, (Gd,Y)3Al5O12 doped with Ce3+ are investigated as a function of the Gd/Y ratio with the aim of an improved understanding of the luminescence quenching, energy transfer and phase stability in these materials. An increase of both crystal field strength and instability of the garnet phase with increasing content of Gd3+ is observed. The instability of the garnet phase results in an appearance of the perovskite phase inclusions incorporated into the garnet phase. The luminescence features of Ce3+ in the perovskite phase inclusions and in the main garnet phase are studied separately. The thermal quenching of the 5 d → 4f emission of Ce3+ in the latter phase is determined by temperature dependence of the photoluminescence decay time. The results show that the onset of the thermal quenching is moved to lower temperatures with increasing gadolinium content. The measurements of temperature dependence of delayed radiative recombination do not reveal a clear evidence that the thermal quenching is caused by thermally induced ionization of the Ce3+ 5d1 excited state. Therefore, the main mechanism responsible for the luminescence quenching is due to the non-radiative relaxation from 5d1 excited state to 4f ground state of Ce3+. The energy transfer processes between Gd3+ and Ce3+ as well as between perovskite and garnet phases are evidenced by the photoluminescence excitation and emission spectra as well as decay kinetic measurements. Thermally stimulated luminescence (TSL) studies in the temperature range 77–497 K and scintillation decays under γ excitation complete the material characterization.
- Energy transfer
- Gadolinium ytrium aluminium garnets
- Garnet phase
- Perovskite phase inclusions