Database of luminescent Minerals


Chemical Formula: CaTiSiO5

Familly: Silicates

Status: IMA-GP

Crystal System: Monoclinic

Mineral for Display: No

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


UV Type Main color Intensity Observation Frequency
Short Waves (254 nm):      Dark Orange /Tawn

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

No Data

Main Activator(s) and spectrum:

Most Common Activator: Radiation induced centers

Other activators:            Cr3+ , Ti3+ , Sm3+ , Eu3+ , Er3+ , Pr3+ , Nd3+ , Tm3+ ,

Peaks in the spectrum (nm):

Sm3+ : 600nm

Eu 3+ : 620, 703nm 

Ti3+? : 742

749 762 769 793 798 804 820nm

Cr3+ : 750, 750, 786nm

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


  To the spectrum gallery (2 spectra in the gallery)

Comments on activators and spectra:

Potential luminescent centers include intrinsic TiO6 and Ti3+ and different impurities such as trivalent and divalent rare-earth elements (REE), Pb2+ and Mn2+ substituting for Ca2+, Cr3+ and Mn4+ substituting for Ti4+, and Cr4+, Cr5+ and Fe3+ substituting for Si4+.

Besides that, titanite can incorporate minor amounts of radioactive impurity components (particularly U and Th) that affect the crystal structure through α- and β-decay events.

Thus radiation-induced luminescence centers are also possible.

Nevertheless, steady-state luminescent spectroscopy of titanite under UV and X-ray excitations did not reveal characteristic bands and lines (Gorobets and Rogojine 2001) and only ionoluminescence spectrum of titanite exhibits various narrow lines of Sm3+, Eu3+ and Nd3+ (Yang 1995).


Chromium and other metals, such as Nb, Ta, V, Mn, Mg, Sn, Al, and Fe, are generally considered to be incorporated at the six-fold coordinated Ti-site whereas REEs substitute Ca on its large, seven-coordinated site. (Gaft)



Best Locality for luminescence(*):

(*)Data are not exhaustive and are limited to the most important localities for fluorescence

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