This device replaces the PMT of a scintillation-based detector with thin-film materials. The photovoltaic and photo-thermoelectric properties of these materials, allow it to collect photoelectrons directly instead of relying on the PMT. Thin-films will generate photoelectrons upon absorbing photons emitted from the scintillation crystal that has absorbed radiation. The result is a light-harvesting device that is more robust, small, and inexpensive without using a photomultiplier. This device could also require an extremely small external bias needed to collect an electronic signal for passive detection of radiation, making it ideal for situations requiring passive detection and indication. A variety of scintillation crystal materials, as well as a combination of monolayer/multilayer molecules used either independently, or as a hetero-structure, can be used in the device architecture, allowing some customization for manufacturability and type of radiation detection.
Features & Benefits
Background of Invention
Radiation detection instruments typically contain a scintillation crystal and a photomultiplier tube (PMT). Inside of the PMT is a photocathode that is designed to absorb low energy photons created from interaction between incident radiation and a scintillation crystal, and in-turn generate electrons. The electron multiplication structure within the PMT consists of multiple stages of dynodes that amplify the number of photoelectrons requires amplification to the number of photoelectrons generated form the photocathode because of the low signal. This configuration creates disadvantages in needing a high bias voltage, fragility of the dynodes, and magnetic field effects that alter electron trajectories. Researchers at OSU have developed a novel approach to combine scintillation-based detectors with thin-film materials instead of a PMT.
Patent Pending - US Utility Patent Application No. 14/742,380. Technology is available for licensing.