Innovation and Partnerships Office

NaI:TI-based Inorganic Scintillator with Superior Performance 2014-169

APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:

  • Gamma-ray radiation detection
  • Security Screening
  • Medical imaging
  • Geological exploration
  • Nuclear physics

ADVANTAGES:

  • Higher light yield
  • Improvement in energy resolution – approximately 2%
  • Makes use of mature technology with only minor modifications 

ABSTRACT:

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a novel NaI:TI-based inorganic scintillator with higher light output and better energy resolution. The Berkeley Lab research group is using a combinatorial approach for the discovery of scintillation materials yielding the highest luminescence and lowest energy resolution. In testing, the engineered crystals of NaI:Tl attained a light output of 52,000 photons/MeV and energy resolution of 4.9% (at 662 keV). Crossing below the 5.0% energy resolution mark provides a specific direction for the development of even better future samples.

Inexpensive, commonly used NaI:TI scintillators have 50% of the market share, yet they have been unceasingly losing market presence due to their mediocre light output of 44,000 photons/MeV and 6.5% energy resolution (at 662 keV). The Berkeley Lab technology promises to recover NaI:TI-based scintillators’ market share by providing unparalleled output while maintaining low costs.

DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Tested using standard 137Cs as radioactive source; measurements done through a Hamamatsu R6231-100 PMT. Light output reached as high as 52,050 photons/MeV with energy resolution of 4.9% (at 662 keV) on small research size crystals.

STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.

SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:

High Performance, Customizable Halide Scintillators, 2013-040