Abstract

A natural quartz, annealed first at 800°C and then irradiated with a 3.5 MeV electron beam, has been investigated by single-crystal electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy at X- and W-band frequencies from 110 K to 298 K. The W-band EPR spectra allow better separation of two previously reported radiation-induced defects (D and E) and improved determinations of their spin Hamiltonian parameters. These defects have similar g tensors with the gmax axes approximately along an O-O pair and gmin axes perpendicular to the short Si-O bonds, but different 27Al hyperfine structures. Centre E is also characterized by a 29Si hyperfine structure (A/geβe = ∼0.4 mT). These spin Hamiltonian parameters, together with results from density functional theory (DFT) calculations, suggest centre E to be a new variant of peroxy radicals in quartz, whereas a peroxy radical model for centre D remains tentative. Thermal stabilities and decay kinetics of centres D and E have been investigated by use of isochronal and isothermal annealing experiments on a neutron-irradiated quartz and six smoky quartz crystals in druses from a U deposit.

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