High-Efficiency and Less Expensive Nanocrystal-Based Scintillator
There is immediate need for a new generation of scintillation materials for nuclear physics research, high-energy radiation (x- and gamma-rays) screening/imaging, and passive detection of nuclear materials with improved quality and low production cost. Inorganic scintillators have high output efficiency, but relay on the growth of bulk crystal that is still a challenging task. Due to their relatively low cost and availability as large size sheets, organic scintillators are ideal for use in applications such as portal monitors and waste monitors. However, organic scintillators have low light output efficiency, and thus are not very suitable for detection of lower energy radiation. This project will develop nanocomposite-scintillating medium (scintillating nanocrystals embedded in transparent polymer) that would have the advantage of conventional inorganic materials (i.e. high light output) and that of organic materials (i.e. low cost and availability of large size/area sheet). The Phase I project developed scintillating nanocrystals as well as their polymer composite, and tested their optical and scintillating properties. The Phase II project will develop nanocomposite scintillators with improved scintillating features and physical-mechanical properties. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Highly sensitive and low cost nanocomposite scintillators could be commercially used for portable monitors for passive identification of nuclear materials, and large radiation detectors for active interrogation of large sea-land containers or cargos. They also can be used for medical imaging, X-ray instrumentation, and materials analysis.
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1764 N Leverett #263 Fayetteville, AR 72703
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