Date: October 1, 2012
Description: In recent years, the concept of embedding composite scintillators consisting of nanosized inorganic crystals in an organic matrix has been actively pursued. Nanocomposite detectors have the potential to meet many of the homeland security, non-proliferation, and border and cargo-screening needs of the nation and, by virtue of their superior nuclear identification capability over plastic, at roughly the same cost as plastic, have the potential to replace all plastic detectors. Nanocomposites clearly have the potential of being a gamma ray detection material that would be sensitive yet less expensive and easier to produce on a large scale than growing large, whole crystals of similar sensitivity. These detectors would have a broad energy range and a sufficient energy resolution to perform isotopic identification. The material can also be fabricated on an industrial scale, further reducing cost. This investigation focused on designing and fabricating prototype core/shell and quantum dot (QD) detectors. Fourteen core/shell and four QD detectors, all with the basic consistency of a mixture of nanoparticles in a polymer matrix with different densities of nanoparticles, were prepared. Nanoparticles with sizes <10 nm were fabricated, embedded in a polystyrene matrix, and the resultant scintillators’ radiation detector properties were characterized. This work also attempted ...
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