The present invention provides for a composition comprising an inorganic scintillator comprising an alkali metal hafnate, optionally cerium-doped, having the formula A.sub.2HfO.sub.3:Ce; wherein A is an alkali metal having a valence of 1, such as Li or Na; and the molar percent of cerium is 0% to 100%. The alkali metal hafnate are scintillators and produce a bright luminescence upon irradiation by a suitable radiation.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT
 The invention described and claimed herein was made utilizing funds supplied by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Grant No. HSHQDC07X00170, and the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. The government has certain rights in this invention.