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Novel High-Performance Scintillators for Radiation Detection

IB-2592, IB-2711, IB-2720, IB-2751, IB-2767

APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:

ADVANTAGES:

ABSTRACT:

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have produced several new high-performance inorganic scintillators that provide a higher and faster light yield (luminosity) than commercially available scintillators. The new scintillators have other characteristics crucial for radioisotope identification: precise energy resolution; very good proportionality; excellent stopping power; high density; and operability at ambient temperatures. These features are particularly important to enable the use of scintillators for security applications, such as detection of radioactive materials. The new scintillators could also be instrumental in high energy physics research and nuclear medicine.

The Berkeley Lab scintillators are crystals of lanthanide doped compounds containing barium in combination with halides, cesium, strontium, silicate, or phosphorous oxide. Each crystal has a different composition to optimize the desired features in detecting radiation. (See Table 1 for representative compositions.)

TABLE 1:
Representative Compositions of the Scintillator Technologies

Reference No.

IB-2592

IB-2711

IB-2720

IB-2751

IB-2767

Representative Composition

Ba2Si3O8

Ba3(PO4)2

BaBrI

Ba2CsI5

BaBrISr

Two of the most promising technologies are IB-2720 (barium mixed halide, including bromoiodide, chloroiodide and fluoroiodide) and IB-2751 (cesium barium halide iodide), each doped with europium. See Table 2 for performance characteristics of these scintillator technologies. In particular, the luminosity and energy resolutions are significantly better than those of NaI, a scintillator currently used in many detectors.

TABLE 2:
Performance Characteristics of IB-2720 and IB-2751

Characteristics

IB-2720

IB-2751

Mean luminosity
(photons/MeV of absorbed gamma radiation)

87,000

97,000

Energy resolution (full width half maximum of the 662 keV absorption peak)

4.3%

3.8%

Density

5 g/cm3

5 g/cm3

Decay time (for more than 80% of the emitted light under X-ray excitation)

Less than 500 nsec

1.2 μsec

DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Bench scale demonstration performed.

STATUS: Published patent application US2010/034130 available at www.wipo.int. Available for licensing or collaborative research.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Bourret-Courchesne, E.D., G. Bizarri, S.M. Hanrahan, G. Gundiah, Z. Yan, S.E. Derenzo. “BaBrI:Eu2+, a bright scintillator,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Res A. 613:95-97 (2010).

Bourret-Courchesne, E.D., G. Bizarri, R. Borade, Z. Yan, S.M. Hanrahan, G. Gundiah, A. Chaudhry, A. Canning, S.E. Derenzo. “Eu2+-doped Ba2CsI5, a new high-performance scintillator,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Res A. 612:138-142 (2009).

SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:

Fast Scintillation Detectors Using Direct-Gap Semiconductors, IB-1833

Neutron Detection Technique Using Layered Semiconductors, IB-2424

Cost Effective Identification of Novel Semiconductor Detector Materials, IB-2199

Co-Planar Electrodes for Radiation Detection, IB-1033

REFERENCE NUMBER:  IB-2720, IB-2751, IB-2711, IB-2592, IB-2767

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