The modern detectors for X-ray, Gamma ray, and other high energy particles in space require advanced scintillator sensor with combination of superior luminosity, high material density, high speed with low latency, fine energy resolution, long radiation hardness and lifetime. Unfortunately, none of the existing single scintillator has all these desirable properties, which compromises the detector performance.
The project aim is to identify advanced scintillation sensors with superior overall properties than existing detectors. The primary objective of the Phase I project is to develop and demonstrate an effective combinatorial synthesis and high throughput screening method to rapidly prepare and search for advanced scintillators. We will verify the accuracy of the proposed combinatorial scintillator R&D approach in Phase I, by applying it on multiple well-studied, state-of-the-art scintillators.
In Phase II, we will apply the set of unique high throughput scintillator R&D tools to conduct a comprehensive synthesis and screening for advanced scintillator crystals based on semiconductors and rare-earth doped metal halides and oxides, with superior overall properties for various high energy radiation and particle detection applications of interests to NASA and multiple commercial sectors.
Scintillator based high energy X-ray and Gamma Ray detectors are finding increasing applications in Astrophysics, Earth Science, Heliophysics, and Planetary Science. Scintillators are the “eyes” of the high energy photon and particle detection systems and its qualities directly affect the detector performance. The identification and development of heavy, fast, robust, bright and efficient scintillation crystals will greatly benefit the future generations of NASA detectors for its various missions.
Advanced scintillation detectors can also be applied in many commercial radiation detections applications, including various medical imaging detectors (X-ray Radiography, CT, PET etc.), and sensors for security screening, and manufacturing quality control. They will help detect interior disease, defects, or identities of targets without need to open up human body, cargo, or manufacturing parts.