Imaging of internal stress around a mineral inclusion in a sapphire crystal: application of micro-Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopy


Naoki Noguchi, Geochemical Research Center, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan. E-mail:


We developed a micro-Raman and photoluminescence imaging technique for visualizing the internal stress fields in a sapphire crystal. The technique was applied to an Australian sapphire gemstone with a zircon inclusion. Considering piezospectroscopic effects on Raman and photoluminescence spectra, the Raman shifts of sapphire around the zircon inclusion were converted to hydrostatic pressure and deviatoric components of stress tensor. The internal stress was highly concentrated at the tips of the zircon crystal, where the deviatoric stress and the hydrostatic pressure component reached 700 and 470 MPa, respectively. Generation of compressive stress on the crystal surface of zircon can be explained by the difference in thermal expansion coefficients and elastic constants between sapphire and zircon. In general, internal stress fields induced by mineral inclusions reflect the pressure and temperature conditions at which the host sapphire gemstones were crystallized. Thus, the present technique can be utilized to identify the origin of gemstones. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.