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LuAG:Ce,Zr Scintillators for PET
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Phone: (410) 224-3710
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The overall purpose of this project is to help improve the resolution and lower the cost of PET instrumentation for both research and diagnostics applications. Single crystal scintillators, currently used in PET Imaging systems, are expensive and difficult to produce. In addition they suffer from inhomogeneous dopant distributions that can degrade or limit resolution. This project will work to improve resolution and lower scintillator costs by developing transparent ceramic scintillators with cheaper production costs, higher doping levels with much greater homogeneity. Learning from the development of transparent yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) for lasers and TA&T's own developments of transparent magnesium aluminate among other transparent ceramics we will address cost and resolution in PET imaging through the development of ceramic scintillators. TA&T in partnership with Fast Imaging Company in Betheseda, MD is pleased to propose the development of a nanopowder synthesis - ceramic fabrication process that will demonstrate a polycrystalline version of lutetium aluminum garnet (LuAG), a new PET scintillator material with great potential that has been difficult and expensive to grow as single crystals, can be readily fabricated and eventually commercialized. In the first phase of this SBIR we will demonstrate that scintillator quality cerium and zirconium doped ceramic LuAG can be produced by powder synthesis and ceramic processing methods. This demonstration will build on TA&T's experience with transparent ceramic magnesium aluminate, yttria and lutetium aluminum perovskite. The results will be experimentally validated by Fast Imaging Company. Guided by Phase I results, in Phase II we will optimize scintillator properties through adjustments in zirconium co-dopant concentrations and refinements of the material processing. At the end of Phase II we will begin small scale production of scintillators for incorporation into PET systems. This project has a high probability of commercial success as evidenced by the participation of Fast Imaging Company. Fast Imaging Company is developing new PET systems and we expect to partner with them to provide scintillators for their instruments.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *