Photoluminescence properties of S2 molecule trapped in Melanophlogite

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We studied the photoluminescence properties of a sample of SiO2-clathrate Melanophlogite, a crystalline microporous material which is found in nature as a rare mineral. Upon β irradiation, the material displays an intense light emission under near-UV illumination. We studied in detail this optical activity by steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence measurements as a function of temperature. The spectroscopic properties we find can be ascribed to a population of quasi-free molecules trapped within each of the two different types of cage available in the structure of this clathrate, although the spectroscopic properties of the guest molecules are affected by their interactions with the host matrix. Based on the available data, we attribute the observed photoluminescence to trapped S2 molecules, emitting from their excited 3Σu− or 3Πu electronic states, depending on the cage they are trapped in and on temperature. Our results have an impact on the fundamental understanding of host–guest interactions characteristic of microporous systems such as clathrates. Indeed, the data highlight that even a relatively weak coupling between quasi-free S2 molecules and the two types of cages provided by the Melanophlogite host has a surprisingly complex influence on the optical properties of the guest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of Minerals
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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