Fast Microcolumnar Scintillator for Radionuclide Imaging

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-04ER84054
Agency Tracking Number: 75096S04-I
Amount: $749,999.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: 23 c
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0072
Small Business Information
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, 02472
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Vivek Nagarkar
 (617) 668-6937
Business Contact
 Gerald Entine
Title: Dr.
Phone: (617) 668-6800
Research Institution
75096S Although CsI(Tl) has become the scintillator of choice for a wide variety of applications, it is not been widely used in radionuclide imaging or computed tomography (CT). The primary reason is the presence of an afterglow component in its scintillation decay, which reduces the energy resolution in emission tomography and results in image blur in CT. In addition, thick, pixelated scintillator structures, needed to overcome the traditional tradeoff between detection efficiency and spatial resolution, do not currently exist. This project addresses the first issue by co-doping the scintillator with ions capable of suppressing the afterglow. The issue of tradeoff between detection efficiency and spatial resolution will be addressed by developing thick, microcolumnar, films of co-doped CsI(Tl). In Phase I: (1) single crystals of co-doped CsI(Tl) material were grown and characterized; (2) a synthesis effort demonstrated the feasibility of depositing the material as a microcolumnar film by vapor deposition techniques; and (3) the resulting films were evaluated to confirm the appropriate scintillation properties. The codoped CsI(Tl) scintillator exhibited a reduction in afterglow of almost two orders of magnitude, compared to current commercial CsI(Tl). Phase II will (1) study the physics of afterglow to gain a better understanding of underlying mechanisms, (2) incorporate selected co-dopants into the CsI(Tl) lattice, (3) characterize the decay time, afterglow, light yield, and time-dependent spectral distribution of the crystals and the microcolumnar films under x-ray excitation, and (4) develop thick, fast films for x-ray and nuclear imaging. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Due to its low cost and excellent properties, the proposed scintillator should find widespread use in small animal/human SPECT/CT imaging systems in particular, and nuclear medicine systems in general. Additional applications include high-speed and ultrahigh-speed x-ray imaging, nondestructive testing, and homeland security.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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