5 September 2014 Search for improved-performance scintillator candidates among the electronic structures of mixed halides
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Abstract
The application of advanced theory and modeling techniques has become an essential component to understand material properties and hasten the design and discovery of new ones. This is true for diverse applications. Therefore, current efforts aimed towards finding new scintillator materials are also aligned with this general predictive approach. The need for large scale deployment of efficient radiation detectors requires discovery and development of high-performance, yet low-cost, scintillators. While Tl-doped NaI and CsI are still some of the widely used scintillators, there are promising new developments, for example, Eu-doped SrI2 and Ce-doped LaBr3. The newer candidates have excellent light yield and good energy resolution, but challenges persist in the growth of large single crystals. We will discuss a theoretical basis for anticipating improved proportionality as well as light yield in solid solutions of certain systems, particularly alkali iodides, based on considerations of hot-electron group velocity and thermalization. Solid solutions based on NaI and similar alkali halides are attractive to consider in more detail because the end point compositions are inexpensive and easy to grow. If some of this quality can be preserved while reaping improved light yield and possibly improved proportionality of the mixture, the goal of better performance at the low price of NaI:Tl might be attainable by such a route. Within this context, we will discuss a density functional theory (DFT) based study of two prototype systems: mixed anion NaIxBr1-x and mixed cation NaxK1-xI. Results obtained from these two prototype candidates will lead to further targeted theoretical and experimental search and discovery of new scintillator hosts.
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Qi Li, Richard T. Williams, Arnold Burger, Rajendra Adhikari, Koushik Biswas, "Search for improved-performance scintillator candidates among the electronic structures of mixed halides ", Proc. SPIE 9213, Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XVI, 92130M (5 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2063583; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2063583
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