- R&D 100 Awards
2014 R&D 100 Winner Scintillators help identify and differentiate fissionable nuclear materials from benign radioactive sources. The quest for improved radiation detection scintillators has a long history dating back to the early 1900s, and suitable materials have remained of immense interest for identifying and differentiating fissionable nuclear materials from benign radioactive sources. Organic scintillators are arguably the most useful class of scintillators for this task, but several deficiencies exist in current devices that limit their usefulness in real-world scenarios.
Sandia National Laboratories’ Triplet-Harvesting Plastic Scintillators (THPS) directly address these limitations by controlling all aspects of the detector response through specially designed light-harvesting dopants. These dopants generate controllable amounts of new luminescence that adds to the intrinsic light-yield response of the host material. Compared to existing materials, the THPS offer a 30% improvement in brightness, significantly faster timing response and unprecedented optical discrimination capabilities. The cost is also nearly 10 times less than the closest competing material. They enable, for the first time, the extraction of vital diagnostic information from mixed radiation fields.
Technology Plastic scintillators
|Sandia National Laboratories' Triplet-Harvesting Plastic Scintillators (THPS) development team (l-r): Michael Foster, Mark Allendorf, Patrick Feng, F. Patrick Doty and Mitchell Anstey.|
The Triplet-Harvesting Plastic Scintillators (THPS) Development Team Patrick Feng, Principal Developer, Sandia National LaboratoriesMark D. Allendorf, Sandia National LaboratoriesMitchell R. Anstey, Sandia National LaboratoriesF. Patrick Doty, Sandia National LaboratoriesMichael E. Foster, Sandia National LaboratoriesKhalid Hattar, Sandia National LaboratoriesRalph Page, Sandia National LaboratoriesKanai Shah, Radiation Monitoring Devices Inc. Edgar van Loef, Radiation Monitoring Devices Inc. Bryan M. Wong, Univ. of California, Riverside