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Project TitleThermal Neutron Detectors Based on Gadolinium-Containing Nanoscintillators
Track Code2011-007
Short Description

Researchers at the University of New Mexico have developed a way to detect thermal neutrons based on gadolinium-containing nanoscintillators.

Abstract

An element with by far the highest thermal neutron capture cross section among all stable isotopes is presented.

 
Tagsbiosensing, cancer treatment, Radiation Detection
 
Posted DateMar 13, 2012

Researcher

Name
Nathan Withers
Jose Vargas
Marek Osinski
Gennady Smolyakov
Brian Akins
Antonio Rivera
John Bryan Plumley

Manager

Name
Briana Wobbe

Background

Colloidal nanocrystals (NCs) have attracted tremendous interest over the last few years for a wide range of biomedical, biochemical sensing, and optoelectronic applications. So far, however, their potential has largely eluded the nuclear detection community. In contrast to wide exploitation of quantum confinement effects in optoelectronic and electronic devices, the physics and technology of inorganic scintillators is still primarily limited to bulk materials. Yet, compared to currently used large-size single crystals or scintillating particles of bulk micrometer size, nanocrystals offer the prospect of significantly improved performance.

 

Large single-crystal inorganic scintillators are very fragile, expensive to grow, and limited in the size of high-quality crystals. Furthermore, scintillating semiconductors of micron size are limited by the low solubility in organic and polymeric matrices as well as the opaqueness that is apparent in inorganic matrices. There have been few published preliminary studies of radiation response of nanocomposites based on colloidal nanocrystals; however, scintillation outputs were low in these cases.

Technology Description

Researchers at the University of New Mexico have developed a way to detect thermal neutrons based on gadolinium-containing nanoscintillators. An element with by far the highest thermal neutron capture cross section among all stable isotopes is presented.

Advantages/Applications

  • Result in higher efficiency of the scintillators
  • Allow for production of large robust nanocomposites with a variety of shapes and sizes
  • Nanocrystals will have better solubility in organic and polymeric matrices.
  • Nanocrystals will cause much less scattering when loaded into inorganic sol-gel or porous host materials.
  • Wide range of biomedical applications
  • Detection of nuclear radiation/neutron detectors
  • Biochemical sensing
  • Optoelectronics
  • Radiation-based cancer treatments

INQUIRES

STC has filed intellectual property on this exciting new technology and is currently exploring commercialization options. If you are interested in information about this or other technologies, please contact Arlene Mirabal at amirabal@stc.unm.edu or 505-272-7886.

Files

File Name Description
9,116,246 Issued Patent None Download

Intellectual Property

Patent Number Issue Date Type Country of Filing
9,116,246 Aug 25, 2015 Utility United States