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Title: Advances in the growth of alkaline-earth halide single crystals for scintillator detectors

Alkaline-earth scintillators such as strontium iodide and other alkaline-earth halides activated with divalent europium represent some of the most efficient and highest energy resolution scintillators for use as gamma-ray detectors in a wide range of applications. These applications include the areas of nuclear nonproliferation, homeland security, the detection of undeclared nuclear material, nuclear physics and materials science, medical diagnostics, space physics, high energy physics, and radiation monitoring systems for first responders, police, and fire/rescue personnel. Recent advances in the growth of large single crystals of these scintillator materials hold the promise of higher crystal yields and significantly lower detector production costs. In the present work, we describe new processing protocols that, when combined with our molten salt filtration methods, have led to advances in achieving a significant reduction of cracking effects during the growth of single crystals of SrI2:Eu2+. In particular, we have found that extended pumping on the molten crystal-growth charge under vacuum for time periods extending up to 48 hours is generally beneficial in compensating for variations in the alkaline-earth halide purity and stoichiometry of the materials as initially supplied by commercial sources. These melt-pumping and processing techniques are now being applied to the purification of CaI2:Eu2+ andmore » some mixed-anion europium-doped alkaline-earth halides prior to single-crystal growth by means of the vertical Bridgman technique. The results of initial studies of the effects of aliovalent doping of SrI2:Eu2+ on the scintillation characteristics of this material are also described.« less
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  1. ORNL
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
  3. Fisk University, Nashville
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
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Resource Relation:
Conference: SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014, San Diego, CA, USA, 20140817, 20140821
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
ORNL work for others
Country of Publication:
United States
scintillators; gamma ray detection; single crystal growth; energy resolution