Luminescence and sintering characteristics of α-Al 2 O 3 -tetragonal zirconia [t-ZrO 2 (Y 2 O 3 )] mixtures have been investigated. The pseudoboehmite is one of the main precursors of the α-alumina. In this investigation pseudoboehmite has been synthesized through a desulphatation of the commercial Al 2 (SO 4 ) 3 using an ammonia solution. Tetragonal zirconia powders were added in adequate proportion for each composition. The mixture constituted by Al 2 O 3 (pseudoboehmite) and t-ZrO 2 has been annealed at different temperatures to obtain the crystalline phases. XRD and SEM techniques measurements have been used to structural characterization. Photoluminescence (PL) emission spectra of Al 2 O 3 -ZrO 2 composites were performed at room temperature. Thermoluminescent emission spectrum of the samples was obtained and analyzed. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.