All Physics Faculty Publications

Low Temperature Cathodoluminescence of Space Observatory Materials

Amberly Evans
Gregory Wilson
Justin Dekany
JR Dennison, Utah State Univesity

Paper presented at the 12th International Spacecraft Charging and Technology Conference.


In recent charging studies, a discernible glow was detected emanating from sample surfaces undergoing electron beam bombardment that resulted from a luminescent effect termed cathodoluminescence. This suggests that some of the materials used as optical elements, structural components, and thermal control surfaces in the construction of space-based observatories might luminescence when exposed to sufficiently energetic charged particle fluxes from the space plasma environment. A central focus of our experiments was the temperature dependence of the luminescent behavior. Here, an overview of our experimental results is given, as well as a qualitative model to describe the luminescent behavior. We look at a simple model of band theory and the filling of localized or trapped states and the