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Nanocrystalline Mg-doped Zinc Oxide Scintillator for UV detectors, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

NASA uses detectors for a broad range of wavelengths from UV to gamma for applications in astrophysics, earth science, heliophysics, and planetary science. Mg-doped ZnO exhibits room temperature, sub-nanosecond luminescence making it promising for use as a scintillator for UV detectors. The realization of the potential of Mg-doped ZnO as a scintillator is currently hampered by the relatively poor light yield and a unavailability of large single crystals with suitable scintillation characteristics. Growing large single-crystal boules having uniform activator concentration coupled with uniform optical quality are a major setback for single crystal technology. MMI proposes to develop a process for the fabrication of polycrystalline nanostructured Mg-doped ZnO scintillators. A solution based process will be used to synthesize Mg-doped ZnO nanocrystals, which will be compacted to high density using MMI's proprietary plasma pressure compaction process. The scintillation properties vis-à-vis morphology will be analyzed and the process will be optimized for further scale-up and integration to UV detectors. More »

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