Fabrication of large-volume, low-cost ceramic lanthanum halide scintillators for gamma ray detection : final report for DHS/DNDO/TRDD project TA-01-SL01.

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Description

This project uses advanced ceramic processes to fabricate large, optical-quality, polycrystalline lanthanum halide scintillators to replace small single crystals produced by the conventional Bridgman growth method. The new approach not only removes the size constraint imposed by the growth method, but also offers the potential advantages of both reducing manufacturing cost and increasing production rate. The project goal is to fabricate dense lanthanum halide ceramics with a preferred crystal orientation by applying texture engineering and solid-state conversion to reduce the thermal mechanical stress in the ceramic and minimize scintillation light scattering at grain boundaries. Ultimately, this method could deliver the ... continued below

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63 p.

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Boyle, Timothy J.; Ottley, Leigh Anna M.; Yang, Pin; Chen, Ching-Fong; Sanchez, Margaret R. & Bell, Nelson Simmons October 1, 2008.

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Description

This project uses advanced ceramic processes to fabricate large, optical-quality, polycrystalline lanthanum halide scintillators to replace small single crystals produced by the conventional Bridgman growth method. The new approach not only removes the size constraint imposed by the growth method, but also offers the potential advantages of both reducing manufacturing cost and increasing production rate. The project goal is to fabricate dense lanthanum halide ceramics with a preferred crystal orientation by applying texture engineering and solid-state conversion to reduce the thermal mechanical stress in the ceramic and minimize scintillation light scattering at grain boundaries. Ultimately, this method could deliver the sought-after high sensitivity and <3% energy resolution at 662 keV of lanthanum halide scintillators and unleash their full potential for advanced gamma ray detection, enabling rapid identification of radioactive materials in a variety of practical applications. This report documents processing details from powder synthesis, seed particle growth, to final densification and texture development of cerium doped lanthanum bromide (LaBr{sub 3}:Ce{sup +3}) ceramics. This investigation demonstrated that: (1) A rapid, flexible, cost efficient synthesis method of anhydrous lanthanum halides and their solid solutions was developed. Several batches of ultrafine LaBr{sub 3}:Ce{sup +3} powder, free of oxyhalide, were produced by a rigorously controlled process. (2) Micron size ({approx} 5 {micro}m), platelet shape LaBr{sub 3} seed particles of high purity can be synthesized by a vapor phase transport process. (3) High aspect-ratio seed particles can be effectively aligned in the shear direction in the ceramic matrix, using a rotational shear-forming process. (4) Small size, highly translucent LaBr{sub 3} (0.25-inch diameter, 0.08-inch thick) samples were successfully fabricated by the equal channel angular consolidation process. (5) Large size, high density, translucent LaBr{sub 3} ceramics samples (3-inch diameter, > 1/8-inch thick) were fabricated by hot pressing, demonstrating the superior manufacturability of the ceramic approach over single crystal growth methods in terms of size capability and cost. (6) Despite all these advances, evidence has shown that LaBr{sub 3} is thermally unstable at temperatures required for the densification process. This is particularly true for material near the surface where lattice defects and color centers can be created as bromine becomes volatile at high temperatures. Consequently, after densification these samples made using chemically prepared ultrafine powders turned black. An additional thermal treatment in a flowing bromine condition proved able to reduce the darkness of the surface layer for these densified samples. These observations demonstrated that although finer ceramic powders are desirable for densification due to a stronger driving force from their large surface areas, the same desirable factor can lead to lattice defects and color centers when these powders are densified at higher temperatures where material near the surface becomes thermally unstable.

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63 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2008-6978
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/945900 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 945900
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897559

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  • October 1, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 2:37 p.m.

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Boyle, Timothy J.; Ottley, Leigh Anna M.; Yang, Pin; Chen, Ching-Fong; Sanchez, Margaret R. & Bell, Nelson Simmons. Fabrication of large-volume, low-cost ceramic lanthanum halide scintillators for gamma ray detection : final report for DHS/DNDO/TRDD project TA-01-SL01., report, October 1, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897559/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.