Rare-earth orthovanadates: Covalency, chemical bonding, and optical spectra

V. A. Gubanov*, D. E. Ellis, A. A. Fotiev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Investigations of electronic structure and optical spectra were made for yttrium orthovanadate, and for rare earth orthovanadates RVO4, where R = Ce, Nd, Eu, Tb, Dy, Gd, and Yb. The Hartree-Fock-Slater model was used in conjunction with a numerical discrete variational method to calculate energy levels and wavefunctions for molecular clusters (VO4)3- and (RO8)13- found in the orthovanadate crystal lattice. Analysis of the MO charge and spin densities reveals a significant involvement of rare earth 4f orbitals in chemical bonding, through hybridization of of R-5p and mixing with O-2p atomic orbitals. The MO energy level diagrams provide a satisfactory semiquantitative interpretation of the experimental excitation, reflection, and luminescence spectra. Energy transfer from the vanadate ion to the rare-earth ion is understood in terms of covalent mixing between metal and shared O-2p orbitals for neighboring (VO4)3- and (RO8)13- clusters. The relative luminescent efficiency of some rare-earth elements is explained on the basis of the calculated energy level diagrams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-324
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Solid State Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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