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Revealing trap depth distributions in persistent phosphors with a thermal barrier for charging

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posted on 2023-11-30, 21:15 authored by Ang Feng, Jonas J. Joos, Jiaren Du, Philippe F. Smet
The performance of persistent phosphors under given charging and working conditions is determined by the properties of the traps that are responsible for these unique properties. Traps are characterized by the height of their associated barrier for thermal detrapping, and a continuous distribution of trap depths is often found in real materials. Accurately determining trap depth distributions is hence of importance for the understanding and development of persistent phosphors. However, extracting the trap depth distribution is often hindered by the presence of a thermal barrier for charging as well, which causes a temperature-dependent filling of traps. For this case, we propose a method for extracting the trap depth distribution from a set of thermoluminescence (TL) curves obtained at different charging temperatures. The TL curves are first transformed into electron population functions via the Tikhonov regularization, assuming first-order kinetics. Subsequently, the occupation of the traps as a function of their depth, quantified by the so-called filling function, is obtained. Finally, the underlying trap depth distribution is reconstructed from the filling functions. The proposed method provides a substantial improvement in precision and resolution for the trap depth distribution compared with existing methods. This is hence a step forward in understanding the (de)trapping behavior of persistent and storage phosphors.

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