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Radiation Resistant Plastic Scintillators


Design and Study of New Radiation Stable Materials for Use as Scintillators for Radiation Control

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Novozhilov V V

Leading Institute
Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry, Russia, Moscow


  • Fermilab (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory), USA, IL, Batavia\nUniversity of Florida, USA, FL, Gainesville

Project summary

Safety and reliability enhancement in nuclear energetics is one of most actual tasks today. To solve this global problem it is necessary to solve several smaller specific problems. Including problem of development of modern technical devices for radiation control. Plastic scintillators are the new promising type of devices for detecting high energy irradiation. They are cheap, reliable and simple in manufacturing. Today there is a commercial scale manufacturing process of plastic scintillators in USA and some other countries. The using of plastic scintillators is limited now by their relatively short lifetime, till the absorbed dose of several megarads. At present the radiation stability level required is about 100 Mrad and more (for 10 years).

It is well known, that plastic scintillators lose their initial optical characteristics and become colored, the color being connected with generation of free radicals and by-products having carbonyl groups and conjugated bonds fragments. In some cases it is possible to enhance lifetime of plastic scintillators by introducing plastisizer into polymer matrix to make the oxygen penetration process easier and, as a consequence, to prevent free radical accumulation. But such "chemical relaxation" process usually is not quite full because of non-radical by-products exist. Moreover plastisizer can initiate undesired migration process of dyes and other additives from volume to the surface. As a result the optical characteristics can be lost.

The goals of this project are the following:

1) Research and development of materials for new age scintillators with essential properties (optical properties, radiation stability, possibility of bulky samples manufacturing) by using following approaches:

a) search of specific luminophores and polymer matrices with essential properties;
b) chemical immobilization of luminophores in polymer matrix;
c) using of new thermo- and radiation stable polymer matrix;
d) using of so-called "sublimation doping" process - new technique of additive introducing into polymer matrix.

2) Research at irradiation attack mechanism in obtained optical materials for plastic scintillators; systematic study of optical characteristics changing upon irradiation. In the end of the work new materials for plastic scintillators will be developed with radiation stability level higher than 10 Mrad. Such materials will find application as accessible and reliable radiation sensors in control devices for nuclear reactors. In medical facilities, in devices for colliding beams experiments. Recently the main interest for such sensors and radiation stable materials in the world was mainly connected with military programs. From this point of view this project seems to be complied with alms of ISTC.