Institut für Mineralogie und Kristallographie
Faculty of Geosciences, Geography and Astronomy
University of Vienna

Althanstr. 14 (UZA 2), A-1090 Wien

Secretary: Mo-Mi: 9-12 & 13-16; Do: 13-17; Fr: 9-13;
Tel.: (+431) 4277 53201, FAX: (+431) 4277 9532,






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Christoph Lenz

Christoph Lenz, Dipl.-Min.

Room number: 2A249
Phone number: (+431) 4277 53280


       Curriculum vitae
2004 – 2007
Basic studies of mineralogy at the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Mineralogy
Mentor: Prof. Dr. D. Wolf / Prof. Dr. G. Heide
2007 – 2009
Advanced studies with focus on "Technical Mineralogy“ at the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg
Mentor: Prof. Dr. G. Heide; Prof. Dr. J. Götze
2009 – 2010
Diploma thesis about the topic: „Correlation between atomic M-O distance and cathodoluminescence of selected carbonate minerals”
Mentor: Prof. Dr. J. Götze
2010 – 2015

Doctorate position at the Institute of Mineralogy & Crystallography, University of Vienna
Title: Luminescence of lanthanoides (rare-earth elements) – Probes of structural variations in minerals"
Mentor: Prof. Dr. Lutz Nasdala

  since 10/2015 Postdoctoral researcher within Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project J 3662 (Schrödinger Fellowship).
Title: "Luminescence study of radiation damage in accessory minerals".
Return to our institute planned by October, 2017, after research stays at ANSTO, Sydney (10/2015 - 09/2016), and CSIRO Clayton, Melbourne (10/2016 - 09/2017).

Research field: Spectroscopy in mineralogy

Research topic:
Luminescence of Lanthanides (Rare Earth Elements, REE) – Probes of structural variations in minerals

(1) Characterization/Quantification of order-disorder phenomena caused by the accumulation of radiation damage in zircon, xenotime & monazite.





Photolumineszenz-Map Zirkon

Fig. 1 (↑) Photoluminescence spectra of zircon showing a different accumulation of radiation damage (band width broadening): a completely metamict inherited zircon core from the Meissen Massif, Saxony (Nasdala et al. 1998) and crystal halves from the Mulcahy Lake intrusion, Ontario, Canada, with one crystal half annealed through heat treatment and the other half remained in its natural moderatly radiation-damaged state (see measurement points A and B in Fig. 2). The extended spectral range shows the most intense luminescence transition of Dy3+ and Sm3+exc = 473 nm). Red inset: Detail of the emission of Nd3+ (4F3/24I9/2; λexc = 532 nm) and of the PL emission of Dy3+ (4F9/26H13/2; λexc = 473 nm).

Fig. 2 (←) Hyperspectral photoluminescence map of two zircon crytsal halves from the Mulcahy Lake intrusion, Ontario, Canada. The annealed crystal half (right) shows a homogeneous distribution of the Dy3+ band width, whereas the natural, radiation-damaged half (left) shows a zonation of Dy3+ band width along areas with high damage accumulation caused by the incorporation of radioactive uranium. Measurement point of spectra A and B (Fig. 1) are labelled.

(2) Visualization of trace-element distributions and mineral textures with PL hyperspectral mapping.


Fig 2

Fig. 3
Series of BSE and CL images and PL hyperspectral maps, of a titanite sample from Schiedergraben, Felbertal, Austria, and a zircon sample from Mt. Zomba, Malawi. Hyperspectral PL maps were produced using the intensity of Cr3+, Sm3+, or Dy3+ emissions. The PL intensity distribution reflects trace-element concentrations semi-quantitatively. Results of LA–ICP–MS point analyses are indicated.


(3) Phase-identification by REE-luminescence: Characteristic luminescence fingerprints.




Fig. 4 Photoluminescence spectra of synthetic xenotime & monazite doped with Sm3+ at 77K. Different cation-site symmetries affect the crystal-field splitting of luminescence transitions. Therefore, the luminescene signal is characteristic for the mineral (fingerprint method).

Fig. 5 Photoluminescence spectra (532 nm excitation) of Nd3+ (4F3/2 → 4I9/2) in different host minerals/phases: Yttrium-stabilized cubic zirconia (YCZ), yttrium-aluminium garnet (YAG), xenotime–(Y), monazite–(Ce), and titanite. Different cationic environments of the substituted Nd3+ cause dissimilar crystal field splittings and hence fingerprint-like luminescence patterns.
  Publications (peer-reviewed articles only)

Lenz, C., Nasdala, L., Talla, D., Hauzenberger, C., Seitz, R., Kolitsch, U. (2015): Laser-induced REE3+ photoluminescence of selected accessory minerals – An “advantageous artefact” in Raman spectroscopy. Chemical Geology, 415, 1-16.

Wierzbicka-Wieczorek, M., Göckeritz, M., Kolitsch, U., Lenz, C., and Giester, G., (2015): Two structure types based on the Si6O15 rings: synthesis and structural and spectroscopic characterisation of Cs1.86K1.14DySi6O15 and Cs1.6K1.4SmSi6O15. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 2015, Issue 14, 2426-2436.

Lenz, C., Nasdala, L. (2015): A photoluminescence study of REE3+ emissions in radiation-damaged zircon. American Mineralogist, 100, 1123-1133.

Wierzbicka-Wieczorek, M., Göckeritz, M., Kolitsch, U., Lenz, C., and Giester, G., (2015): Crystallographic and spectroscopic investigations on nine metal–rare-earth silicates with the apatite structure type. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 6, 948–963.

Nasdala, L., Lyubenova, T.S., Gaft, M., Wildner, W., Diegor, W., Petautschnig, C., Talla, D., Lenz, C. (2014): Photoluminescence of synthetic titanite-group pigments: A rare quenching effect. Chemie der Erde – Geochemistry, 74, 419–424.

Wierzbicka-Wieczorek, M., Lenz, C., Giester, G. (2013): Flux synthesis and structural and spectroscopic characterization of a cobalt europium trisilicate. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 19, 3405–3411.

Lenz, C., Talla, D., Ruschel, K., Skoda, R., Götze, J. & Nasdala, L. (2013): Factors affecting the Nd3+ (REE3+) luminescence of minerals. Mineralogy and Petrology, 107, 415–428.