The luminescence of MgUO4 has been investigated. Emission and excitation spectra as well as the decay time and the quantum efficiency of the emission were measured at 4.2 K. The temperature dependence of the emission spectrum and the emission intensity was studied. The results show that in MgUO4 the emission originates from uranate centres near defects. These centres act as optical traps. Even at 4.2 K about 90% of the excitation energy is lost non-radiatively by trapping at killer sites. These are most probably due to the presence of U5+ ions
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