14:13 GMT25 November 2020
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    Researchers from the Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) and their Chinese counterparts have developed an optical material that provides for the visualisation of radiation.

    The studied type of inorganic oxide glass can be widely used in various fields of photonics and optoelectronics.

    The study results were published in the Journal of Luminescence.

    Scintillators are materials that emit visible light when excited by charged particles. These materials are indispensable in the development of radiation detectors and dosimeters, as well as in medical optoelectronics, security systems and several other areas, TPU researchers explained.

    According to the researchers, one of the most promising scintillators is multi-component glass with a high content of rare-earth ions. Its main competitors in this niche, inorganic single-crystals, are still far superior to glass in terms of efficiency, but are extremely cost and labour-intensive to manufacture.

    The technology, jointly developed by TPU researchers and their Chinese colleagues, makes it possible to obtain multi-component glass scintillators with a light output of around 60 percent relative to bismuth orthogermanate crystals, Bi4Ge3O12 (BGO), which are now common on the market.

    “Multi-component amorphous systems have a high dissolving capacity compared to rare-earth ions, which makes it possible to create an optical material with high transparency and moisture resistance. The 63.9% level of integral scintillation efficiency we have achieved with respect to crystalline analogues raises the hope that such glasses will find wider application in optoelectronics,” Damir Valiev, an associate professor of the TPU Department of Materials Science, said.

    The system of ABS-BGP (Al2O3–B2O3–SiO2–BaCO3-Gd2O3–P2O5) boroxylate composition activated by Tb3+ ions was chosen as the basis for the glass. According to the researchers, the main result is the discovery of an optimal level of Tb3+ ions in ABS-BGP glasses, which is about 10% of the molar concentration.

    The data obtained, as noted by TPU researchers, can be used in the future to produce highly efficient radiation systems and ionising radiation detectors, including promising fibre optic detectors with spatial resolution. The researchers are confident that the use of the new technology will significantly reduce the cost of such devices as medical computerised tomography scanners and many others.
    The study was carried out together with specialists from Changchun University of Science and Technology (CUST). In the future, the research team plans to continue studying the multi-component glasses with variable composition.

    Tags:
    technology, visualisation, Radiation, scientists
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