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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

All Research Projects

Publication details

Bossin, Lily, Bailiff, Ian K. & Terry, Ian (2018). Phototransferred TL properties of alumina substrates. Radiation Measurements 120: 41-46.

Author(s) from Durham


Alumina substrates, such as those found as surface-mount resistors in mobile phones, are currently the strongest candidate as a surrogate dosimeter material in emergency radiological scenarios using luminescence techniques. However, the rate of fading of the luminescence signal (TL or OSL) imposes a limitation on their longer term use, and also increases the uncertainty in dose assessment. The potential of phototransferred thermoluminescence (PTTL) techniques to access deep traps in alumina substrate samples is reported here. A measurement procedure employing blue (470 nm) illumination was found to produce a PTTL signal with a detection limit of ca 100 mGy, but with a supralinear dose response below 10 Gy. By using a UV source with emission between 307 and 575 nm a linear dose response was obtained within this dose range, although the detection limit was higher (ca 200 mGy), partly arising from the presence of a non-radiation-induced photostimulated TL signal. Pulse annealing experiments indicate that deep traps providing a reservoir of charge are thermally accessible above 500 °C and require annealing to ca 700 °C to thermally clean them. Significantly, using blue illumination, storage experiments performed under dark conditions at room temperature indicate that the loss of charge in the deep traps accessed by the PTTL measurement procedure was less than 30% for storage periods of up to 224 days. Although the physical mechanisms associated with the transfer of charge from the deep traps probed by the PTTL measurements require further clarification, the possibility of significantly reducing the fading observed in conventional TL or OSL measurements introduces a potentially valuable tool in the use of this material for both short and long term dosimetry.

Department of Archaeology

Scottish Soldiers Project

Cooperating with the Palace Museum in China