Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

John W. McClory, PhD.


Lithium aluminate (LiAlO2) is an insulating wide-band gap material currently under development for tritium breeding and radiation detection and dosimetry applications. Point defects are imperfections in a crystal lattice localized over a few atomic lengths that can alter the electrical, mechanical, or optical properties of materials. An understanding of point defect behavior is a necessary precursor for optimizing lithium aluminate for nuclear applications. This dissertation has identified and characterized the major point defects created and induced through x-ray and neutron radiation using electron paramagnetic resonance and fluorescence spectroscopy, thermoluminescence, and optical absorption. This dissertation explains for the first time the mechanism responsible for OSL in copper-diffused LiAlO2 and characterizes for the first time the hole (Li vacancies) and electron-trapping (F and F+ centers and transition-metal ions) defects. These results should prove useful to any researcher that utilizes LiAlO2 in applications involving radiation.

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