ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0001-5379-9942

Graduation Semester and Year

2016

Language

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Applied Physics

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Wei Chen

Abstract

Inorganic single crystal and organic (plastic and liquid) scintillators are commonly used for radiation detection. Inorganic single crystals are efficient and have better energy resolution compared to organic scintillators. However, inorganic single crystals are difficult to grow in large size and hence expensive. On the other hand, fast decay time and ease of fabrication makes organic scintillators attractive for many applications. However, poor energy resolution of organic scintillators limits its applications in gamma ray spectroscopy. The poor energy resolution is due to the low Z-Value and low density of organic scintillator. The Z-value of organic plastic scintillator can be increase by loading nanoparticles in plastic matrix. It is expected that the increase in Z-value would result in improve energy resolution of nanocomposite scintillator. However, the loss of optical transparency due to nanoparticles loading is one of the major concerns of nanocomposite scintillators. In this dissertation, we used different methods to synthesize LaxCe1-xF3 nanoparticles with high dispersion in polymer matrix. High nanoparticle dispersion is important to load high concentration of nanoparticles into polymer matrix without losing the transparency of the polymer matrix. The as synthesized nanoparticles are dispersed into monomers and polymerized using heat initiated bulk polymerization method. Nanoparticles are characterized using TEM, XRD, FTIR and TGA. The optical and scintillation properties of nanoparticles and nanocomposites are studied using spectroscopic techniques. The pulse height spectra obtained using nanocomposite fabricated by loading up to 30 wt% nanoparticles clearly show a photopeak for the 122 keV line of the Co-57 isotope. The generation of the photopeak is due to the enhanced photoelectric effect as a result of increased effective atomic number (Zeff) and density of nanocomposite scintillator. The pulse height spectra of Cs-137 gamma source show a full energy peak at around 622 keV, due to the escape of La and Ce Kα X-rays. The fabrication process of transparent nanocomposite scintillator is discussed in details.

Keywords

Nanocomposite scintillators, Scintillation, Polymerizable surfactant, HVDAC, Transparent ceramic, LaF3-Ce, LaxY2-xO3, Polymer nancomposite

Disciplines

Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Physics Commons

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