4 May 2012 The use of stimulated electron emission (SEE) in homeland security applications
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Certain insulating solids can store a fraction of the absorbed energy when irradiated by ionizing radiation. The stored energy can be released subsequently by heating or optical stimulation. As a result, light may be emitted through Thermoluminescence (TL) or Optically-Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) and electrons may be emitted through Thermally-Stimulated Electron Emission (TSEE) or Optically-Stimulated Electron Emission (OSEE). TL and OSL are widely used in current radiation dosimetry systems. However, despite considerable research effort during the early 1970s, SEE was not commonly adopted for dosimetry applications. One of the main reasons is that SEE is a surface phenomenon, while luminescence is a bulk phenomenon, making SEE more susceptible to humidity, absorption of gases, minor physical defects and handling, both before and after irradiation. Nevertheless, it has been recognized that SEE may be useful for homeland security applications in nuclear forensics, where dose accuracy is not the primary performance metric. In this research, we are investigating the use of SEE for nuclear forensic applications. Many common materials, both natural and man-made, exhibit the phenomenon, providing an opportunity to use the environment itself as an in-situ radiation detector. We have designed and constructed a unique prototype reader for conducting SEE measurements. We have demonstrated that the SEE measurements from a variety of materials are quantitatively reproducible and correlated to radiation exposure. Due to the broad applicability of SEE, significant additional studies are warranted to optimize this novel technique for nuclear forensic and other applications.
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H. Ing, H. R. Andrews, M. Facina, W. T. Lee, H. W. Niu, "The use of stimulated electron emission (SEE) in homeland security applications", Proc. SPIE 8358, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIII, 83581T (4 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.924651; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.924651

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