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Title: Application of Two Phase (Liquid/Gas) Xenon Gamma-Camera for the Detection of Special Nuclear Material and PET Medical Imaging

The McKinsey group at Yale has been awarded a grant from DTRA for the building of a Liquid Xenon Gamma Ray Color Camera (LXe-GRCC), which combines state-of-the-art detection of LXe scintillation light and time projection chamber (TPC) charge readout. The DTRA application requires a movable detector and hence only a single phase (liquid) xenon detector can be considered in this case. We propose to extend the DTRA project to applications that allow a two phase (liquid/gas) xenon TPC. This entails additional (yet minimal) hardware and extension of the research effort funded by DTRA. The two phase detector will have better energy and angular resolution. Such detectors will be useful for PET medical imaging and detection of special nuclear material in stationary applications (e.g. port of entry). The expertise of the UConn group in gas phase TPCs will enhance the capabilities of the Yale group and the synergy between the two groups will be very beneficial for this research project as well as the education and research projects of the two universities. The LXe technology to be used in this project has matured rapidly over the past few years, developed for use in detectors for nuclear physics and astrophysics. This technologymore » may now be applied in a straightforward way to the imaging of gamma rays. According to detailed Monte Carlo simulations recently performed at Yale University, energy resolution of 1% and angular resolution of 3 degrees may be obtained for 1.0 MeV gamma rays, using existing technology. With further research and development, energy resolution of 0.5% and angular resolution of 1.3 degrees will be possible at 1.0 MeV. Because liquid xenon is a high density, high Z material, it is highly efficient for scattering and capturing gamma rays. In addition, this technology scales elegantly to large detector areas, with several square meter apertures possible. The Yale research group is highly experienced in the development and use of noble liquid detectors for astrophysics, most recently in the XENON10 experiment. The existing facilities at Yale are fully adequate for the completion of this project. The facilities of the UConn group at the LNS at Avery Point include a (clean) lab for detector development and this group recently delivered an Optical Readout TPC (O-TPC) for research in Nuclear Astrophysics at the TUNL in Duke University. The machine shop at UConn will be used (free of charge) for producing the extra hardware needed for this project including grids and frames.« less
  1. Yale University
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Yale University, New Haven, CT
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE SC Office of Nuclear Physics (SC-26)
Country of Publication:
United States
07 ISOTOPE AND RADIATION SOURCES Liquid Xenon; Gamma Rays; Compton Imaging