Characterization of organic, transparent ceramic, and polymer scintillator materials for radiation detection
Schabes, Brandon K.
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Scintillating materials are some of the best means by which to detect and identify radiation, and have a number of applications in the field. But before being used outside of a laboratory, scintillating samples must be properly characterized. Characterization of new scintillator materials provides valuable feedback on selection of optimal materials and compositions, and is best performed with a number of key methods. In this study, ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometery, photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL), and gamma/neutron light yields were used to characterize GdxLuyEuzO3 transparent ceramics, polyvinylcarbazole (PVK) plastic polymers with high-Z dopants, and mixed single crystals of diphenylacetylene (DPAC) and stilbene. In the transparent ceramics, PL spectroscopy revealed emission peaks from Eu2+ in some samples and calculated the stoichiometric concentration at which the crystal’s cubic phase decays into monoclinic (x > 1.2). In the plastic scintillators, PL spectroscopy was used to characterize efficient energy transfer between the PVK and iridium dyes and the efficiency of the high-Z dopants di-iodobenzene and triphenylbismuth. PL spectroscopy, cesium-137 light yield, and californium-252 light yield were used to determine properties of DPAC/stilbene scintillating crystals as the DPAC/stilbene concentrations changed. The research was coupled with the pulse-shift discrimination method of determining whether a sample can differentiate between gamma and neutron radiation.