Nonlinear dose dependence and dose-rate dependence of optically stimulated luminescence and thermoluminescence

R. Chen, P. L. Leung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When thermoluminescence (TL) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) are utilized for dosimetry and for dating of archaeological and geological samples, one hopes that the dependence of the measured signal on the dose is linear, and that no dose-rate effects occur. In TL measurements, however, several cases of superlinear dose dependence have been reported and also some dose-rate effects have been found. It has been shown theoretically that such superlinearity can result from a simple model of trapping states and recombination centers, provided that a disconnected competing trap or center is involved. Similar circumstances were shown to cause a dose-rate dependence of the measured TL. More recently, some results of OSL superlinearity have been reported. The present work provides a theoretical account of this effect. A distinction is made between OSL due to relatively short pulses of stimulating light and the integral over a long illumination. It is shown that in the former, one can expect a quadratic dose dependence of the effect provided one starts with empty trapping states and recombination centers. In the latter, superlinearity can be found only in the presence of competitors, in a similar way to the TL behavior. Also, the possibility of dose-rate dependence of OSL, which has not been reported in the literature is predicted and should be checked in future OSL measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation Measurements
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Dose-rate effect
  • Nonlinearity
  • Optically stimulated luminescence
  • Thermoluminescence


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