Microscopic origin of the optical processes in blue sapphire

Jessica K. Bristow, Stephen C. Parker, C. Richard A. Catlow, Scott M. Woodley, Aron Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Al2O3 changes from transparent to a range of intense colours depending on the chemical impurities present. In blue sapphire, Fe and Ti are incorporated; however, the chemical process that gives rise to the colour has long been debated. Atomistic modelling identifies charge transfer from Ti(iii) to Fe(iii) as being responsible for the characteristic blue appearance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5259-5261
Number of pages3
JournalChemical Communications
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun 11


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Bristow, J. K., Parker, S. C., A. Catlow, C. R., Woodley, S. M., & Walsh, A. (2013). Microscopic origin of the optical processes in blue sapphire. Chemical Communications, 49(46), 5259-5261. https://doi.org/10.1039/c3cc41506f