Thermal irreversibility in optically labeled low-temperature glasses

W. Köhler, J. Zollfrank, J. Friedrich

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57 Scopus citations


We present an investigation of irreversible features of thermal broadening of persistent spectral holes. The investigation is based on temperature-cycling hole-burning experiments performed with a variety of organic glasses doped with rather different probe molecules. The results show a rich temperature dependence. They can, however, be interpreted in terms of the well-known spectral diffusion models, in which we introduced a freezing condition to account for thermal irreversiblity. There is a tunneling regime for low temperatures and an activated regime for high temperatures. In the tunneling regime the broadening is linear in T; in the activated regime it increases with T3/2 and logarithmically with time. From the transition region the quantity md2, with m being the tunneling mass and d the distance, can be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5414-5424
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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