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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Nanocomposite Scintillators for Gamma-ray Astronomy

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

With the Fermi mission well into its extended phase, the time is right to plan for the next generation gamma-ray project. No matter what form this mission might take, it will use scintillation-based materials as either primary or anticoincidence detectors.  This project will develop and characterize nanocomposite scintillators for space-based applications, specifically tuned to medium energy (1 MeV - 100 MeV) gamma-ray astrophysics.  Nanocomposites are not only easier to manufacture and are thus cheaper than traditional scintillators while still providing similar or better performance, but they can be tuned to a specific application. 

We propose to develop and characterize nanocomposite scintillators for space-based applications, specifically tuned to medium energy (ME; 1 MeV – 100 MeV) gamma-ray astrophysics.  At the end of the funded phase of this project we plan to have a working understanding of the manufacture and performance of several different types of nanocomposite materials.  The end goal is not to have a working prototype of a detector but to be in a position where we can produce a detector tuned to a specific application based on future funding sources. 

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