The spectral and radiation dose characteristics of a range of previously uninvestigated alumine-silicate materials are surveyed, with the intention of searching for alternative, high sensitivity materials that could potentially be used as InfraRed Stimulated Luminescence (IRSL) dosemeters for the measurement of environmental doserates. Quartz, petalite, feldspar, leucite, analcite, nephaline, sodalite, tugtupite and alumina were studied and, of this set, only feldspar and alumina were found to be useful. To improve the sensitivity of natural feldspar materials, these were annealed in nitrogen atmospheres at 950 degrees C in the presence of Fe, Zn, Eu, Dy, Ni, Cu, Ag and Au. Of these, Cu,Ag and Au were found to significantly enhance the IRSL sensitivity of the materials. From spectral analysis of the luminescence properties of the samples, it is concluded that the dopants are not directly involved in the IRSL process, but rather they act as catalysts in the creation of native lattice defects. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.