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The properties of a material can be profoundly affected by trace amounts of dopants or impurities. The most common mechanism by which the properties are changed is through the solid state defect chemistry. Point defects in solids play the same role as pH in solution equilibrium chemistry. In the same way that pH exerts strong effects on solution equilibrium chemistry, point defect concentrations exert similarly strong effects on solid state chemistry and the resulting bulk properties of the material. Historically, one measures the defect concentrations indirectly by measuring bulk properties but one can also use site selective laser excitation methods to measure the point defect equilibria directly. In this paper, we will discuss the application of these ideas to the study of interesting materials.
point defects, site selective, defect equilibria, calcium oxide (CaO), magnesium oxide (MgO), potassium chloride (KCl), luminescence spectroscopy
Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI