Combinatorial Approach for the Discovery of New Scintillating Materials
78026S05 New scintillator materials must be synthesized and evaluated for use in detecting and deterring the proliferation of nuclear weapons. However, there are thousands of possible scintillator materials and it is a challenge to determine which of them will have superior properties. This project will develop a combinatorial approach to efficiently synthesize and evaluate a large number of scintillator materials. Such combinatorial methods are prevalent in the pharmaceutical industry where thousands of drug candidates, DNA strands, and other biological materials are evaluated in parallel in a micro-array format. The approach will adapt the biological methodology to scintillator materials ¿ a significant challenge because scintillatory materials typically comprise several elements or oxides, and there are no good theortical methods to identify suitable compositions. Phase I will demonstrate the methodology on two classes of scintillator materials. In Phase II, either the identified material compositions will be grown into single crystals to demonstrate their efficacy in scintillators or the methodology will be refined to explore candidates from more classes of materials. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: In addition to applications of scintillator materials for checking nuclear materials in defense, research, and in preventing terrorist activities, the new materials should also have applications for public use: in nuclear imaging for medical purposes, monitoring of soils and rocks for nuclear contamination (e.g., in oil and mining exploration), and non-destructive evaluation (e.g., evaluation of airframes, chemical reactors, cargo check, power conduits).
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