2010 R&D 100 Winner
stronium_scintillator_LLNL The identification of radionuclides vital to homeland security was the driving force behind a collaboration to develop the High-Performance Strontium Iodide Scintillator for Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif., Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., Fisk University, Nashvile, Tenn., and Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc., Watertown, Mass., teamed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop the new detector material, stronium-iodide doped with euporium (SrI2[Eu]), that gives the scintillator improved performance characteristics.

SrI2 enables the hightest resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy of any scintillator, passing the most-used thallium-doped sodium iodide (NaI[Tl]) and the higher performing, but costly, cerium-doped lanthanum bormide (LaBr3[Ce]). In the 200-keV region where special nuclear materials emit, SrI2 reduces false alarms by a factor of three when compared to LaBr3[Ce]. In addition, its crystals are easier to grow than LaBr3[Ce].

The scintillator can be used in a range of radiation sensors, from handheld devices to large portal monitors. It potentially can be used for medical, industrial, environmental, and other applications.

Gamma-ray scintillator

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 
Fisk University  
Radiation Monitoring Devices Inc.  
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office

   Development Team

(l-r): Joanne Ramey, James Kolopus, and Lynn Boatner, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The High-Performance Strontium Iodide Scintillator for Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy Development Team:
Pijush Bhattacharya, Fisk University
Lynn Boatner, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Vlad Buliga, Fisk University
Arnold Burger, Fisk University
Nerine Cherepy, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Yunlong Cui, Fisk University
Alexander Drobshoff, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Owen B. Drury, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Scott Fisher, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Jarek Glodo, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
Michael Groza, Fisk University
Rastgo Hawrami, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
William Higgins, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
Thomas Hurst, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
 Alan Janos, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office
J.A. Kolopus Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Stephen Payne, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Joanne Ramey Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Uptal Roy, Formerly at Fisk University
Cheng Saw, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Kanai Shah, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
Benjamin Sturm, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Peter Thelin, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Eugene Tupitsyn, Fisk University
Edgar van Loef, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.