Journal of rare earths vol:16 issue:3 pages:204-210
The use of magnetic circular dichroism(MCD) spectroscopy for probing the 4f(n) configuration of trivalent lanthanide ions is explored. The technique is compared with optical absorption spectroscopy. MCD is valuable for the detection of degenerate crystal field levels in uniaxial crystals and for observing transitions not resolved in the absorption sepctrum, for the study of the site symmetry and for checking the reliability of crystal field and intensity parameters. On the other hand, selection of the samples has to be done more carefully than for absorption spectroscopy, because an MCD spectrum can only be recorded in all isotropic direction.