Plagioclase feldspar is the major luminescent mineral in meteorites. Thermoluminescence (TL) characteristics, peak temperature (Tm), full width at half maximum (FWHM), ratio of high (HT) to low temperature (LT) peak, and TL sensitivity (TL/dose/mass) to an extent reflect degree of crystallinity of the mineral. The present study explores and establishes a correlation between quantum mechanical anomalous (athermal) fading and structural state by examining TL of individual chondrules. Chondrules were separated using freeze-thaw technique from a single fragment of Dhajala meteorite. The results show large variation in Tm (155−230°C), FWHM (80−210°C) and HT/LT (0.07–0.47) and seem to be positively correlated. TL sensitivity (ranging from 14 to 554 counts/s/Gy/mg) decreases with increasing Tm and FWHM. Large variations in TL parameters (Tm, FWHM, HT/LT, and Sensitivty) suggest that individual chondrules had different degree of crystallization. Thermal annealing experiments suggest that comparatively ordered form of feldspar can be converted to a disordered form by annealing the sample at high temperatures (1000°C) for long time (10 hr) in vacuum (1 mbar pressure) condition and rapidly cooling it. Measured anomalous fading suggest that fading rate increases as the crystal form changes from an ordered state to a disordered state. However, the fading rate becomes nearly negligible for the most disordered feldspars.
Infrared radioluminescence (IRRL) of K-feldspar, detected at peak wavelength of 865 nm, is emerging as a potential geochronometric tool. The present study explores and attempts to optimize the IRRL dating protocols and proposes a revised protocol for estimation of palaeodose. UV light (395 nm; 700 mW/cm2) bleach of 800 s was optimum to remove the trapped charges responsible for IRRL and, reduced the interference of radio-phosphorescence due to prior irradiations. Validation of the proposed protocol was carried out by dose recovery tests on mineral and sediment K-feldspar samples of different provenances. An overestimation in dose recovery was observed and was attributed to difference in sensitivity of natural IRRL and regenerated IRRL. The sensitivity changes were significant and systematic and were documented by repeating bleach-IRRL cycles. Corrections for sensitivity changes between natural and regenerated IRRL, gave reliable results and, have now been included in the proposed dating protocol.