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Optically active behaviors of the infrared active defect, so‐called higher order bands, have been investigated at different temperatures in fast neutron irradiated silicon. It is found that the optically active decay follows logarithmic time dependence with a decay time of about 105 s, which is nearly temperature independent below 80 K. The residual absorption remains up to heating temperatures of 180 K. The experimental findings are discussed in terms of the relaxation characteristic of photoexcited carriers governed by neutron irradiation induced defect clusters. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.