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Color Enhancement of Natural Sapphires by High Pressure High Temperature Process

  • Song, Jeongho (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Seoul) ;
  • Noh, Yunyoung (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Seoul) ;
  • Song, Ohsung (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Seoul)
  • Received : 2014.12.02
  • Accepted : 2015.02.02
  • Published : 2015.03.31

Abstract

We employed the high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) process to enhance the colors of natural sapphires to obtain a vivid blue. First, we analyze the content of the coloring agent $Fe_2O_3$ using the wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WD-XRF) method. The HPHT procedure operates under 1 GPa at various temperatures of 1700, 1750, and $1800^{\circ}C$ for 5 minutes using a cubic press. We determine the color changes using the optical microscopic images, UV-VIS near-infrared (NIR) spectra, micro-Raman spectra, and Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectra for all sapphire samples before and after the treatment. The optical microscopic results indicate that the HPHT process can enhance the sapphire color to a vivid blue at temperatures above $1750^{\circ}C$. The UV-VIS-NIR spectra identify the color changes explicitly and quantitatively through providing the Lab color scales and color differences. Both results demonstrate that the colors of natural sapphires can be enhanced to a vivid blue using the HPHT process above $1750^{\circ}C$ under 1 GPa for 5 minutes.

Keywords

Sapphire;Color enhancement;HPHT;WD-XRF;FT-IR

Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)

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