Can europium atoms form luminescent centres in diamond: A combined theoretical-experimental study

Danny E. P. Vanpoucke*, Shannon S. Nicley, Jorne Raymakers, Wouter Maes, Ken Haenen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The incorporation of Eu into the diamond lattice is investigated in a combined theoretical experimental study. The large size of the Eu ion induces a strain on the host lattice, which is minimal for the Eu-vacancy complex. The oxidation state of Eu is calculated to be 3+ for all defect models considered. In contrast, the total charge of the defect-complexes is shown to be negative: -1.5 to -2.3 electron. Hybrid-functional electronic-band structures show the luminescence of the Eu defect to be strongly dependent on the local defect geometry. The 4-coordinated Eu substitutional dopant is the most promising candidate to present the typical Eu3+ luminescence, while the 6-coordinated Eu-vacancy complex is expected not to present any luminescent behaviour. Preliminary experimental results on the treatment of diamond films with Eu-containing precursor indicate the possible incorporation of Eu into diamond films treated by drop-casting. Changes in the PL spectrum, with the main luminescent peak shifting from approximately 614 nm to 611 nm after the growth plasma exposure, and the appearance of a shoulder peak at 625 nm indicate the potential incorporation. Drop-casting treatment with an electronegative polymer material was shown not to be necessary to observe the Eu signature following the plasma exposure, and increased the background luminescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-241
Number of pages9
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Diamond
  • Eu
  • Doping
  • Defects
  • DFT
  • Density functional theory
  • Electronic structure
  • Phonons
  • Photoluminescence
  • BULK


Dive into the research topics of 'Can europium atoms form luminescent centres in diamond: A combined theoretical-experimental study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this