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Title: Nanostructured Lanthanum Halides and CeBr3 for Nuclear Radiation and Detection

Abstract

Scintillator materials are used to detect, and in some cases identify, gamma rays. Higher performance scintillators are expensive, hard to manufacture, fragile, and sometimes require liquid nitrogen or cooling engines. But whereas lower-quality scintillators are cheap, easy to manufacture, and more rugged, their performance is lower. At issue: can the desirable qualities of high-and low-performance scintillators be combined to achieve better performance at lower cost? Preliminary experiments show that a LaF{sub 3}:Ce oleic acid-based nanocomposite exhibits a photopeak when exposed to {sup 137}Cs source gamma-radiation. The chemical synthesis of the cerium-doped lanthanum halide nanoparticles are scalable and large quantities of material can be produced at a time, unlike typical crystal growth processes such as the Bridgeman process. Using a polymer composite (Figure 1), produced by LANL, initial measurements of the unloaded and 8% LaF{sub 3}:Ce-loaded sample have been made using {sup 137}Cs sources. Figure 2 shows an energy spectrum acquired for CeF{sub 3}. The lighter plot is the measured polymer-only spectrum and the black plot is the spectrum from the nanocomposite scintillator. As the development of this material continues, the energy resolution is expected to improve and the photopeak-to-Compton ratio will become greater at higher loadings. These measurements show themore » expected Compton edge in the polymer-only sample, and the Compton edge and photo-peak expected in the nanophosphor composites that LANL has produced. Using a porous VYCORR with CdSe/ZnS core shell quantum dots, Letant has demonstrated that he has obtained signatures of the 241Am photopeak with energy resolution as good at NaI (Figure 3). We begin with the fact that CeBr{sub 3} crystals do not have a self-activity component as strong as the lanthanum halides. The radioactive 0.090% {sup 138}La component of lanthanum leads to significant self-activity, which will be a problem for very large detector volumes. Yet a significant strength of the nanostructure detector concept is the ability to create extremely large detector volumes by mixing nanoparticles into a transparent matrix. This would argue for use of nanoparticles other than lanthanum halides. Nanocomposites are easy to prepare; it is much less costly to use nanocomposites than to grow large whole crystals of these materials. The material can be fabricated at an industrial scale, further reducing cost. This material potentially offers the performance of $300/cc material (e.g., lanthanum bromide) at a cost of $1/cc. Because the material acts as a plastic, it is rugged and flexible, and can be made in large sheets, increasing the sensitivity of a detector using it. It would operate at ambient temperatures. Very large volumes of detector may be produced at greatly reduced cost, enhancing the non-proliferation posture of the nation for the same dollar value.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NA)
OSTI Identifier:
992588
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV/25946-989
TRN: US1100399
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC52-06NA25946
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Symposium; Washington, DC; June 9, 2010
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; AMBIENT TEMPERATURE; CRYSTAL GROWTH; DETECTION; ENERGY RESOLUTION; ENGINES; GAMMA RADIATION; HALIDES; LANTHANUM; LANTHANUM BROMIDES; NANOSTRUCTURES; NITROGEN; PERFORMANCE; PHOSPHORS; POLYMERS; PROLIFERATION; QUANTUM DOTS; RADIATIONS; SENSITIVITY; SYNTHESIS; lanthanum halides, CeBr3, nuclear radiation, nuclear detection

Citation Formats

Paul Guss, Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, Ron Guise, Ding Yuan. Nanostructured Lanthanum Halides and CeBr3 for Nuclear Radiation and Detection. United States: N. p., 2010. Web.
Paul Guss, Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, Ron Guise, Ding Yuan. Nanostructured Lanthanum Halides and CeBr3 for Nuclear Radiation and Detection. United States.
Paul Guss, Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, Ron Guise, Ding Yuan. Wed . "Nanostructured Lanthanum Halides and CeBr3 for Nuclear Radiation and Detection". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/992588.
@article{osti_992588,
title = {Nanostructured Lanthanum Halides and CeBr3 for Nuclear Radiation and Detection},
author = {Paul Guss, Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, Ron Guise, Ding Yuan},
abstractNote = {Scintillator materials are used to detect, and in some cases identify, gamma rays. Higher performance scintillators are expensive, hard to manufacture, fragile, and sometimes require liquid nitrogen or cooling engines. But whereas lower-quality scintillators are cheap, easy to manufacture, and more rugged, their performance is lower. At issue: can the desirable qualities of high-and low-performance scintillators be combined to achieve better performance at lower cost? Preliminary experiments show that a LaF{sub 3}:Ce oleic acid-based nanocomposite exhibits a photopeak when exposed to {sup 137}Cs source gamma-radiation. The chemical synthesis of the cerium-doped lanthanum halide nanoparticles are scalable and large quantities of material can be produced at a time, unlike typical crystal growth processes such as the Bridgeman process. Using a polymer composite (Figure 1), produced by LANL, initial measurements of the unloaded and 8% LaF{sub 3}:Ce-loaded sample have been made using {sup 137}Cs sources. Figure 2 shows an energy spectrum acquired for CeF{sub 3}. The lighter plot is the measured polymer-only spectrum and the black plot is the spectrum from the nanocomposite scintillator. As the development of this material continues, the energy resolution is expected to improve and the photopeak-to-Compton ratio will become greater at higher loadings. These measurements show the expected Compton edge in the polymer-only sample, and the Compton edge and photo-peak expected in the nanophosphor composites that LANL has produced. Using a porous VYCORR with CdSe/ZnS core shell quantum dots, Letant has demonstrated that he has obtained signatures of the 241Am photopeak with energy resolution as good at NaI (Figure 3). We begin with the fact that CeBr{sub 3} crystals do not have a self-activity component as strong as the lanthanum halides. The radioactive 0.090% {sup 138}La component of lanthanum leads to significant self-activity, which will be a problem for very large detector volumes. Yet a significant strength of the nanostructure detector concept is the ability to create extremely large detector volumes by mixing nanoparticles into a transparent matrix. This would argue for use of nanoparticles other than lanthanum halides. Nanocomposites are easy to prepare; it is much less costly to use nanocomposites than to grow large whole crystals of these materials. The material can be fabricated at an industrial scale, further reducing cost. This material potentially offers the performance of $300/cc material (e.g., lanthanum bromide) at a cost of $1/cc. Because the material acts as a plastic, it is rugged and flexible, and can be made in large sheets, increasing the sensitivity of a detector using it. It would operate at ambient temperatures. Very large volumes of detector may be produced at greatly reduced cost, enhancing the non-proliferation posture of the nation for the same dollar value.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {6}
}

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