Eu-doped strontium iodide single crystal growth has reached maturity and prototype SrI2(Eu)-based gamma ray
spectrometers provide detection performance advantages over standard detectors. SrI2(Eu) offers a high, proportional light
yield of >80,000 photons/MeV. Energy resolution of <3% at 662 keV with 1.5” x 1.5” SrI2(Eu) crystals is routinely
achieved, by employing either a small taper at the top of the crystal or a digital readout technique. These methods overcome
light-trapping, in which scintillation light is re-absorbed and re-emitted in Eu2+-doped crystals. Its excellent energy
resolution, lack of intrinsic radioactivity or toxicity, and commercial availability make SrI2(Eu) the ideal scintillator for
use in handheld radioisotope identification devices. A 6-lb SrI2(Eu) radioisotope identifier is described.
We report on the development of two new mechanically rugged, high light yield transparent ceramic scintillators: (1) Ce-doped Gd-garnet for gamma spectroscopy, and (2) Eu-doped Gd-Lu-bixbyite for radiography. GYGAG(Ce) garnet transparent ceramics offer ρ = 5.8g/cm3, Zeff = 48, principal decay of <100 ns, and light yield of 50,000 Ph/MeV. Gdgarnet ceramic scintillators offer the best energy resolution of any oxide scintillator, as good as R(662 keV) = 3% (Si-PD readout) for small sizes and typically R(662 keV) < 5% for cubic inch sizes. For radiography, the bixbyite transparent ceramic scintillator, (Gd,Lu,Eu)2O3, or “GLO,” offers excellent x-ray stopping, with ρ = 9.1 g/cm3 and Zeff = 68. Several 10” diameter by 0.1” thickness GLO scintillators have been fabricated. GLO outperforms scintillator glass for high energy radiography, due to higher light yield (55,000 Ph/MeV) and better stopping, while providing spatial resolution of >8 lp/mm.
Breakthrough energy resolution, R(662keV) < 4%, has been achieved with an oxide scintillator, Cerium-doped Gadolinium Yttrium Gallium Aluminum Garnet, or GYGAG(Ce). Transparent ceramic GYGAG(Ce), has a peak emission wavelength of 550 nm that is better matched to Silicon photodetectors than to standard PMTs. We are therefore developing a spectrometer based on pixelated GYGAG(Ce) on a Silicon photodiode array that can provide R(662 keV) = 3.6%. In comparison, with large 1-2 in3 size GYGAG(Ce) ceramics we obtain R(662 keV) = 4.6% with PMT readout. We find that ceramic GYGAG(Ce) of a given stoichiometric chemical composition can exhibit very different scintillation properties, depending on sintering conditions and post-anneal treatments. Among the characteristics of transparent ceramic garnet scintillators that can be controlled by fabrication conditions are: scintillation decay components and their amplitudes, intensity and duration of afterglow, thermoluminescence glow curve peak positions and amplitudes, integrated light yield, light yield non-proportionality - as measured in the Scintillator Light Yield Non-Proportionality Characterization Instrument (SLYNCI), and energy resolution for gamma spectroscopy. Garnet samples exhibiting a significant fraction of Cerium dopant in the tetravalent valence also exhibit: faster overall scintillation decay, very low afterglow, high light yield, but poor light yield proportionality and degraded energy resolution.
Scintillator nonproportionality is a key mechanism by which the energy resolution is degraded in gamma spectroscopy. Herein, we survey the results obtained for a number of inorganic scintillating materials, including alkali and multivalent halides, fluorides, simple oxides, silicates, and a tungstate. The results are interpreted in the context of a model that accounts for carrier attraction by the Onsager mechanism and exciton-exciton annihilation by the Birks model. We then utilize the theory of Landau fluctuations in combination with the fitted experimental nonproportionality curves to deduce the predicted value of the resolution degradation.
A system of customized spatial light modulators has been installed onto the front end of the laser system at the National
Ignition Facility (NIF). The devices are capable of shaping the beam profile at a low-fluence relay plane upstream of the
amplifier chain. Their primary function is to introduce "blocker" obscurations at programmed locations within the beam
profile. These obscurations are positioned to shadow small, isolated flaws on downstream optical components that might
otherwise limit the system operating energy. The modulators were designed to enable a drop-in retrofit of each of the 48
existing Pre Amplifier Modules (PAMs) without compromising their original performance specifications. This was
accomplished by use of transmissive Optically Addressable Light Valves (OALV) based on a Bismuth Silicon Oxide
photoconductive layer in series with a twisted nematic liquid crystal (LC) layer. These Programmable Spatial Shaper
packages in combination with a flaw inspection system and optic registration strategy have provided a robust approach
for extending the operational lifetime of high fluence laser optics on NIF.
Customized spatial light modulators have been designed and fabricated for use as precision beam shaping devices in
fusion class laser systems. By inserting this device in a low-fluence relay plane upstream of the amplifier chain,
"blocker" obscurations can be programmed into the beam profile to shadow small isolated flaws on downstream optical
components that might otherwise limit the system operating energy. In this two stage system, 1920 × 1080 bitmap
images are first imprinted on incoherent, 470 nm address beams via pixelated liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS)
modulators. To realize defined masking functions with smooth apodized shapes and no pixelization artifacts, address
beam images are projected onto custom fabricated
optically-addressable light valves. Each valve consists of a large,
single pixel liquid cell in series with a photoconductive Bismuth silicon Oxide (BSO) crystal. The BSO crystal enables
bright and dark regions of the address image to locally control the voltage supplied to the liquid crystal layer which in
turn modulates the amplitude of the coherent beams at 1053 nm. Valves as large as 24 mm × 36 mm have been
fabricated with low wavefront distortion (<0.5 waves) and antireflection coatings for high transmission (>90%) and
etalon suppression to avoid spectral and temporal ripple. This device in combination with a flaw inspection system and
optic registration strategy represents a new approach for extending the operational lifetime of high fluence laser optics.