1998, pp 271-307

Thermoluminescence

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Abstract

Thermoluminescence (TL) in solids is the light emission (mainly visible) that takes place during heating of a solid following an earlier absorption of energy from radiation. It is in fact the release, in the form of light, of previously absorbed energy and is quite different from incandescence light emission from a substance that is heated at high temperatures. The essential condition for TL to occur in an insulator or a semiconductor is that the material must have been previously exposed to radiation. Once TL emission has been observed, the material will not show it again after simply cooling the specimen and reheating it, but has to be reexposed to radiation to obtain TL again. TL, although based upon the same fundamental principles as other luminescence processes, is conventionally a misnomer since the heat radiation is only a stimulant and not an exciting agent.