Lanthanide halide alloys have recently enabled scintillating gamma ray spectrometers comparable to room temperature semiconductors (<3% FWHM energy resolutions at 662 keV). However brittle fracture of these materials upon cooling hinders the growth of large volume crystals. Efforts to improve the strength through non-lanthanide alloy substitution, while preserving scintillation, have been demonstrated. Isovalent alloys having nominal compositions of comprising Al, Ga, Sc, Y, and In dopants as well as aliovalent alloys comprising Ca, Sr, Zr, Hf, Zn, and Pb dopants were prepared. All of these alloys exhibit bright fluorescence under UV excitation, with varying shifts in the spectral peaks and intensities relative to pure CeBr.sub.3. Further, these alloys scintillate when coupled to a photomultiplier tube (PMT) and exposed to .sup.137Cs gamma rays.
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The United States Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation.