Cherepy's team is developing a high-resolution scintillator material that operates at room temperature, is inexpensive, and can be manufactured in large volumes. Team members recently showed that europium-doped strontium iodide has higher conversion efficiency than cerium-doped lanthanum bromide. Small crystals have demonstrated 2.5 percent energy resolution, slightly better than lanthanum bromide detectors. This work was honored with a 2010 R&D 100 award.
Zaitseva's team is developing a material that can effectively separate a signature for neutrons from a strong background of gamma radiation by using pulse-shape discrimination. Team members have surveyed more than 140 organic compounds, all of which have characteristics known to be important for fast-neutron detection. Recently, they have discovered a compound with triple pulse-shape discrimination capabilities that can discriminate fast neutrons from thermal neutrons from gamma radiation. This material may also prove to be an effective antineutrino detector.
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