Ion implantation is a promising route for doping quartz with luminescent impurity atoms and growing photoactive nanoparticles of them. The present work focuses on cathodoluminescence (CL) and epitaxy during or after Na, Rb, Cs, Ge, and Ba ion implantation as well as Rb/Ge double implantation in crystalline α-quartz, under the conditions of dynamic, chemical or laser epitaxy. In addition to the known intrinsic sub-bands in the CL spectra, which have been associated with specific defects in the silica matrix, very intense blue or violet bands were found. They are correlated with the implanted ion species and follow their thermal behaviour. The quantum efficiency and possible origins of the blue/violet CL emission for various ions and processing treatments will be discussed. The case of double Rb/Ge implantation appears to be very promising with respect to a combination of a high CL output and full chemical epitaxy. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.