Single grain infrared photoluminescence (IRPL) measurements of feldspars for dating

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Article number106313
JournalRadiation Measurements
Early online date19 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2020
Permanent link
Show download statistics
View graph of relations
Citation formats


Existing infrared photoluminescence (IRPL) systems have used pulsed infrared stimulation (~830 nm) and measured IRPL emission (at 880 or 955 nm) using time resolved data collection with photomultipliers. Breakthrough of the infrared stimulation light overwhelms the IRPL, but the delayed emission during the laser-off period has been used instead. This paper describes a system for measurement of the IRPL signal from single sand-sized grains of feldspar. The attachment uses an electron-multiplying charge-coupled device (EMCCD) imaging system, and has two innovations that make it possible to use such a detector to obtain IRPL data. First, the optical detection system has been designed to minimise stray light and maximise the efficiency with which filters reject the stimulation light. This acts to reduce, but not eliminate, the breakthrough. Second, by placing the sample to be measured in a clearly defined sample grid, the spatial resolution provided by the EMCCD has been used to differentiate between regions of the image where IRPL is emitted and adjacent regions where only breakthrough is expected. This allows quantification of the breakthrough and effective subtraction to isolate the IRPL signal from the grains of interest. The attachment has been used to measure IRPL from single sand-sized grains of feldspar from an aeolian dune from New Zealand. A 1W UV LED (365 nm) is also added to the system and this is effective at resetting the IRPL signal, permitting a single aliquot regenerative dose (SAR) protocol to be used to measure equivalent dose (De). Measurement of a known laboratory dose (104 Gy) demonstrates the reproducibility of the attachment, with no overdispersion observed in the resulting single grain De values. The recovered dose is within 10% of the given dose. The natural IRPL signal yields De values from single grains with low overdispersion (22%) and giving a weighted mean value (103 ± 5.8 Gy) that is consistent with that obtained using post-IR IRSL measurements (105 ± 3.8 Gy). The attachment described here provides IRPL measurements on single grains suitable for exploring the potential of this novel and exciting signal for dating geological sediments.


  • Dose determination, EM-CCD, Feldspar, Imaging, Luminescence