Anomalous optical emission in hot dense oxygen

Mario Santoro*, Eugene Gregoryanz, Ho-Kwang Mao, Russell J. Hemley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the observation of unusually strong, broad-band optical emission peaked between 590 and 650 nm when solid and fluid oxygen are heated by a near infrared laser at pressures from 3 to 46 GPa. In situ Raman spectra of oxygen were collected and corresponding temperatures were measured from the Stokes/anti-Stokes intensity ratios of vibrational transitions. The intense optical emission overwhelmed the Raman spectrum at temperatures exceeding 750 K. The spectrum was found to be much narrower than Planck-type thermal emission, and the intensity increase with input power was much steeper than expected for the thermal emission. The result places an important general caveat on calculating temperatures based on optical emission spectra in high-pressure laser-heating experiments. The intense emission in oxygen is photo-induced rather than being purely thermal, through multiphoton or multi-step single photon absorption processes related to the interaction with infrared radiation. The results suggest that short lived ionic species are induced by this laser-matter interaction. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalSolid state communications
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • insulators
  • optical properties, electronic states (localized)
  • luminescence
  • inelastic light scattering


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