Color Origins in Langatate Crystals
Langatate La3Ga5.5Ta0.5O14 is piezoelectric crystal from langasite family, commonly grown by Czochralski method from Ir crucible. Langatate crystals of different colors (colorless, orange, green) have been studied by optical spectroscopy in UV-Visible (200 – 800 nm) and IR (7000 – 1000 cm-1) ranges. Furthermore, the effects of irradiation by ultraviolet laser source (λ=266 nm) and post-growth annealing in N2+O2 atmosphere have been investigated. The yellow-orange is mainly due to an absorption centered in the ultraviolet that extends into the blue of the visible spectrum (250-500 nm). The IR optical absorption spectra of Langatate crystals exhibit an absorption band at 5370 cm-1. It seems linked to a point defect responsible for color. The intensity of the absorption band at 3430 cm-1 increases after annealing in oxygen containing atmosphere. We have discussed phenomenon that can occur simultaneously in langatate crystals and produce very similar colors which are related to structural defects. First, metal ions impurities (as Iron, Titanium…), whose presence is previously confirmed by femtosecond laser ablation coupled with ICP-MS spectroscopy, can contribute to langatate color. Second, ultraviolet absorption leads us to think about charge transfer phenomenon such as O2- → Fe3+ and/or Fe3+-Fe3+ pair transitions. Third, the irradiation by ultraviolet (λ=266 nm) laser source locally color the langatate sample by the creation of color centers. Origins of color centers, particularly those related to oxygen vacancies, ( , 2e′)x, are discussed. And, finally, point defects changes the band gap of langatate, leading to extend the absorption to visible light regions.
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