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Radiation Detection with Phase Stable Transparent Ceramic Scintillators

Widespread use of single crystal inorganic scintillators is seen in medical imaging, high energy physics, and environmental radiation monitoring applications. These crystals are typically hygroscopic requiring air-tight housing for handling and their fabrication is costly. Transparent polycrystalline ceramics of rare earth garnets show promise for easing fabrication and reducing costs as well as allowing customization of fabrication components. Since garnets are oxides, they offer excellent handling and fabrication advantages, compared to the more commonly employed halide scintillators. Transparent ceramics are polycrystalline optics formed by consolidation of nanocrystalline precursors into a fully dense solid. Transparent polycrystalline ceramics not only allow production costs to be substantially reduced, but permit the fabrication of compositions that do not melt congruently and are, therefore, unobtainable via melt growth. Furthermore, activator concentration and uniformity can be considerably increased over melt-grown crystals.

Patent Abstract: 

Transparent ceramic fabrication allows the production of gadolinium- , lutetium-, and terbium-based garnets which are difficult to grow by melt techniques due to phase instabilities. Phase stabilization of the garnets is accomplished by the addition of the intersubstitutional ions, Gallium and/or Scandium.

Technology Type(s): 
radiation detection
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
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