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Intense infrared emission peaking at a wavelength of 1.35 μm has been observed in Ge-doped ZnSe crystals at low temperatures. The emission was particularly strong in the crystals doped with Ge in Se atmosphere and was then rapidly quenched. The emission was accompanied by a characteristic additive absorption band centered around a wavelength of 500 nm, which showed a partial but distinct metastable change upon light irradiation. The excitation spectrum and the preparation conditions of the infrared emission corresponded to those of electron spin resonance signals, owing to isolated, trivalent Ge ions in ZnSe. The nature and the possible applications of the emission are discussed. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.