The presence of copper nanoparticles in alumina and silica modifies their luminescence, and the changes in spectra are influenced by variations in the nanoparticle size distributions. Luminescence signals are sensitive to the total defect population. Thus the luminescence not only reflects changes caused by thermal annealing, which can modify both intrinsic defects and the copper nanoparticles, but also responds to the method of preparation of thin film layers. Copper nanoparticle influence on luminescence is reported both for ion-implanted bulk silica and for copper in pulsed laser deposition within alumina. Luminescence thus potentially offers a non-destructive monitor of the layer quality, reproducibility and growth conditions, as well as the state and size of the copper nanoparticles.
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