Innovation and Partnerships Office

High Performance, Customizable Halide Scintillators 2013-040

APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:

  • X-ray and gamma-ray radiation detection
  • National security
  • Medical imaging
  • Oil well logging
  • High-energy physics

ADVANTAGES:

  • Higher performance scintillation than commercial crystals
  • High light yields — luminescence equal to or greater than 40,000 photons/MeV
  • Can be used in various forms (e.g., thin films, crystals, ceramics)
  • Potential for large crystals with low or zero self-absorption
  • Proportional response to gamma rays of different energies
  • Enables finer resolution, higher maximum event rates, clearer images

ABSTRACT:

Edith Bourret-Courchesne and her team of Berkeley Lab researchers have created a new class of scintillators – made from crystals of monovalent ion-doped halides – that respond to the presence of high frequency radiation with brief yet very bright pulses of light.

The Berkeley Lab team, which had already identified CsBa2I5 as a high-performance scintillator, found that the crystal’s scintillation properties can be tuned — for example, tuning the emission wavelength and its Stokes shift — by doping it with thallium, sodium, or indium. These single-crystal, doped, inorganic scintillators can be used to detect alpha, beta, or gamma radiation as well as X-rays, cosmic rays, and energetic particles. These same doping strategies can be applied to crystals grown from a wide variety of ternary and more complex halides. As such, this technology is not just an improvement in scintillator sensitivity; it can be used to build a wide variety of novel crystals customized for specific detector applications.

Scintillators are crystalline materials that emit visible light in the presence of gamma rays or other ionizing radiation. Single crystals of scintillator materials can be coupled to photodetectors to generate an electronic signal in response to a light pulse triggered by such radiation.

DEVELOPMENT STAGE:  Bench scale prototype

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

SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:

Novel High Performance Scintillators for Radiation Detection, IB-2711, IB-2751, IB-2767

REFERENCE NUMBER: 2013-040