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Optical Spectroscopy of Inorganic Solids

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Code Completion Credits Range Language
11OSAL ZK 2 2 Czech
Garant předmětu:
Zdeněk Potůček
Zdeněk Potůček
Zdeněk Potůček
Department of Solid State Engineering

Relationship between experimental data and theoretical models that allow us elucidate and predict spectroscopic properties of optical centers in solids, such as absorption spectrum, emission spectrum or decay and efficiency of luminescence, is illustrated by an example of color centers, rare-earth ions, and transition metal ions in insulators. Particular emphasis is put on influence of lattice symmetry and vibrations on spectroscopic properties of optically active centers. Attention is also paid to physical basis of the experimental techniques commonly used in optical spectroscopy of solids, to non-radiative energy transfer between adjacent centers and formation of their aggregates with distinct spectroscopic properties occurring in the case of sufficiently high concentrations of optical centers, and to optical processes operating in solid-state lasers.


Basic knowledge of quantum mechanics and solid state physics.

Syllabus of lectures:

1. Energy levels of free atoms and ions.

2. Optical centers in a static crystalline environment - crystal field theory, splitting of energy levels of free ions in dependence on crystal field symmetry.

3. Energy levels of ions with 3d electron configurations in an octahedral and tetrahedral crystal field.

4. Energy levels of F-centers and related defects.

5. Probability of radiative transition between stationary states, excited state lifetime, natural linewidth of spectral transition, selection rules.

6. Optical centers in a vibrating crystalline environment - radiative transitions within the configurational coordinate model, radiative transitions in the weak coupling limit, absorption and emission bandshapes.

7. Phonon-induced relaxation processes - homogeneous broadening of zero-phonon line, non-radiative transitions involving multiphonon emission, luminescence efficiency.

8. Experimental techniques of luminescence and optical absorption spectroscopy.

9. Optical properties of color centers in ionic crystals.

10. Optical spectroscopy of rare-earth ions in insulators - energy levels of 4f electron configurations.

11. Optical spectroscopy of transition metal ions in insulators.

12. Spectroscopic phenomena observed at high concentrations of optically active dopants - energy transfer between ions, exchange-coupled ion pairs, concentration quenching of luminescence.

13. Basic phenomena in solid-state lasers.

Syllabus of tutorials:
Study Objective:


Theoretical models allowing elucidate and predict spectroscopic properties of color centers, rare-earth ions and transition metal ions in dielectric materials and acquirement of the basis of the experimental techniques used in optical spectroscopy of solids.


Ability to explain and predict spectroscopic properties of optically active centers formed in solids by various point defects and impurity ions and to apply methods of optical spectroscopy to non-destructive diagnostics of materials.

Study materials:

Key references:

[1] J. G. Solé, L. E. Bausá, D. Jaque: An Introduction to the Optical Spectroscopy of Inorganic Solids, 2005, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

[2] B. Henderson, G. F. Imbusch, Optical Spectroscopy of Inorganic Solids, 1989, Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Recommended references:

[3] N. Tkachenko: Optical Spectroscopy: Methods and Instrumentations, 2006, Elsevier Science, Amsterdam.

[4] L. Smentek, B. G. Wybourne: Optical Spectroscopy of Lanthanides, 2007, CRC Press, London.

[5] G. Blasse, B. C. Grabmaier: Luminescent Materials, 1994, Springer - Verlag, Berlin.

Time-table for winter semester 2022/2023:
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The course is a part of the following study plans:
Data valid to 2023-06-04
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