Database of luminescent Minerals


Chemical Formula: BaSO4

Familly: Sulfates

Status: IMA-GP

Crystal System: Orthorhombic

Mineral for Display: Yes

Associated names (luminescent varieties, discredited names, synonymes etc.):  barytine


UV Type Main color Intensity Observation Frequency
Long Waves (365nm):      Yellowish White MediumOften
Short Waves (254 nm):      Orange MediumRarely
Other colors LW:                         
Bluish White , Yellowish White , Pale Yellow , Greenish white , Yellowish ,
Other colors SW:                              
Bluish White , Yellowish White , Pale Yellow , Orangy yellow , Greenish white , Yellowish ,

Short Waves Pictures (254nm)


Phosphorescence (in the common meaning of the term) seen by naked eye:

No Data

Main Activator(s) and spectrum:

Most Common Activator: (UO2)2+ (Uranyl ion) as impurities

Other activators:            Pb2+ , S2- , Organic impurities , Cu+ , Eu2+ , Ce3+ , Tb3+ , Ag+ , Nd3+ , Bi2+ , Bi3+ ,

Peaks in the spectrum (nm):

Bi3+ : 426-430nm band 80nm half-width 

Bi2+ replacing Ba2+ : narrow band 625nm  

Ag: very broad band (150 nm half-width) peaking at 635nm  

Ce3+  : 302, 305, 330, 360nm 

Nd3+  : 389, 446, 589, 672nm  

Tb3+  : 488, 544nm  

UO22+  : 501, 522, 544, 568 

Eu2+  : 375, 613, 615, 697nm 

Pb      : blue part of the spectrum

Spectrum: Michael Gaft, Petah Tikva, Israel. Plot: Institute of Mineralogy, University of Vienna, Austria, with permission of the authors.


  To the spectrum gallery (7 spectra in the gallery)

Comments on activators and spectra:

It is known that the luminescent centers Eu2+ (1.24–1.40 Å), Ce3+ (0.88–1.02 Å), Nd3+ (0.99–1.15 Å), Tb3+ (0.89–1.09 Å), Ag+ (1.13–1.26 Å), Sn2+ (0.93 Å) substitute for Ba2+ (1.35–1.44 Å) or Sr2+ (1.10–1.27 Å), which are in 12-fold coordination in the barite structure (GOROBETS, 2002; GAFT et al., 2005; all ionic radii are for the 6-coordination form). A possible accommodation for the established in this study Eu3+ (0.97–1.13 Å) is also isomorphic substitution for Ba2+ or Sr2+. The presence of uranyl molecules in barite is considered to be a result of chemical adsorption (GOROBETS, 2002).

Activators: (UO2)2+, Eu2+ (Gaft)
Ag+ (large pic 635 nm), Bi2+ in Ba2+ site(narrow band 625 nm), Bi3+ (426 nm), Eu2+ (375), Ce3+ (302, 330, 360nm), Nd3+ (446, 589nm)(Gaft)
UO22+ can be determined from the vibrational structure and the long decay time of the luminescence band. Two different types of uranyl could be detected in Baryte: thin films of uranyl mineral and a solid solution of uranyl ion in barite crystal.
Eu2+ can be determined from the spectral position, the half-width and the characteristic decay time of the luminescence band.
Mn2+ and Ag+ can be determined by comparing luminescence bands spectral parameters to those of synthesized BaSO4−Mn and BaSO4−Ag.
Fe3+ or Mn4+ can be determined from the spectral-kinetic parameters of the luminescence bands.( After M. Gaft and I. Rudenkova, Laser-induced luminescence of barite after thermal treatment, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry vol42, 1994)
In natural barite the narrow orange band with λmax=625 nm, Δ=40 nm and τ=5 μs is connected with Bi2+ center.
The narrow violet band with λmax=625 nm, Δ=35 nm and τ=1.7 ms is connected with Bi3+ center.
The broad red band with λmax=635 nm, Δ=140 nm and τ=270 μs is connected with Ag+ center.The emission bands of Ag+ result from d9s–d10 transitions
The broad red band with λmax=750 nm, Δ=110 nm and τ=350 μs is connected with Cu+ center.(The luminescence of Bi, Ag and Cu in natural and synthetic barite , M. Gaft, R. Reisfeldb, G. Panczer, G. Boulonc, T. Saraidarovb and S. Erlishd, Optical Materials, vol16, 2001)

The luminescence spectrum (excitation of 266 nm, without delay, broad gate of 9 ms) of the studied endogene barite contains 2 relatively narrow ultraviolet bands: one peaking at 306 nm and the other at 375 nm. The first band has a very short decay time and disappears after D = 50–100 ns. Such a combination of spectrum and decay time parameters is evidence that the luminescence is connected with Ce3+. The emission of Ce3+ corresponds to transitions between 5d1 and 4f1 electronic configurations. The second band has a longer decay time of approximately 1 μs and belongs to Eu2+ (GAFT et al., 2005). The Emission spectra of Eu2+ result from electronic transitions between 4f7 and 4f65d1 electronic configurations. After a delay of several μs, the Eu2+ emission becomes much weaker and very weak narrow lines appear, peaking at 488, 544 and 615 nm ). These lines are connected with trivalent rare-earth elements, which are characterized by relatively long decay times of hundreds of μs: the first 2 lines certainly belong to Tb3+ and the last one is principally typical for Eu3+ (GAFT et al., 2005). While Eu2+ luminescence is common, Eu3+ emission is here detected for the first time in barite. Under excitation of 532 nm, a luminescence line at 615 nm dominates the spectrum, accompanied by several lines near 700 nm. Such a behavior confirms that Eu3+ is responsible for these luminescence lines. The emission of Eu3+ corresponds to f–f transitions – from the excited 5D0 level to the 7Fj (j=0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) levels of the 4f6 configuration.
The different emission spectra at excitations at 266 and 532 nm suggest at least 2 structural positions for Eu3+ in the barite crystal lattice. (Spectroscopic study of barite from the Kremikovtsi deposit (Bulgaria) with implication for its origin, MAYA DIMOVA, GERARD PANCZER & MICHAEL GAFT, ANNALES GÉOLOGIQUES DE LA PÉNINSULE BALKANIQUE, Vol67, 2006 See link below)

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