Lu hafnate optical ceramic: a new fast PET scintillator
Small Business Information
ALEM ASSOCIATES, INC., 303-A COMMONWEALTH AVE, BOSTON, MA, 02115
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): We propose to conduct research and development of a new ceramic scintillator based on cerium-activated lutetiumhafnate (Lu2Hf2O7:Ce). The development program is prompted by the realization that there is presently only one scintillate that fulfills the needs of PET imaging, namely LSO. While in many ways remarkable, LSO is expensive, it is not widely available and it varies greatly in quality. The hafnate has higher stopping power than LSO, has about the same decay time and, being cubic, is a candidate for fabrication as a perfectly transparent optical ceramic. The main advantages of such a development would be much lower cost (ceramic formation is far less expensive than single crystal growth), and possibly improved yield due to much lower fabrication temperatures. The program would take advantage of our extensive experience in ceramic scintillators. Preliminary results are very encouraging. Ceramic specimens show cubic structure, light output comparable to BGO, characteristic decay of 20 - 50 ns, and remarkable translucency. All these properties will be improved by developing the proper procedures to synthesize the precursor powders and optimize the ceramic formation process. This is the essence of the proposed work, which should result in a superior alternative detector for PET.
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