A model for non-monotonic dose dependence of thermoluminescence (TL)

J. L. Lawless, R. Chen*, D. Lo, V. Pagonis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the applications of thermoluminescence (TL) in dosimetry and archaeological and geological dating, a desirable dose dependence of TL intensity is a monotonically increasing function, preferably linear. It is well known that in many dosimetric materials, nonlinear dependence is observed. This may include a superlinear dependence at low doses and/or sublinear dose dependence at higher doses, where the TL intensity approaches saturation. In quite a number of materials, non-monotonic dose dependence has been observed, namely, the TL intensity reached a maximum value at a certain dose and decreased at higher doses. This effect is sometimes ascribed to 'radiation damage' in the literature. In the present work we show, both quasi-analytically and by using numerical simulation, that such dose dependence may result from a simple energy level scheme of at least one kind of trapping state and two kinds of recombination centres. One does not necessarily have to assume a destruction of trapping states or recombination centres at high doses. Instead, the main concept involved is that of competition which takes place both at the excitation stage and the readout stage during the heating of the sample. This may explain the fact that the phenomenon in question, although very often ignored, is rather common. Cases are identified in which competition during excitation dominates, and others in which competition during read-out dominates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-753
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2005


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