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LISe Crystals

Y-12 National Security Complex

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PDF Document PublicationLISe Crystals Fact Sheet (684 KB)





Technology Marketing Summary

The Li-containing compound semiconductor thermal neutron detector is based on the 6LiInSe2 single crystal. A novel 6Li chemical purification method and proprietary two-step synthetic process that starts from elementary materials (Li, In and Se) yield large radiation detection quality crystals of 6LiInSe2. The harvested crystal also must exhibit the appropriate electrical bandgap, high bulk resistivity and current stability. These 6Li-containing chalcopyrite-type semiconductor crystals efficiently detect thermal neutrons at room temperature by either direct semiconductor conversion of 6Li(n, [alpha]) charged particles or detection of scintillation photons via a coupled solid state photodetector.

Description

6LiInSe2 crystal properties:

  • Band gap: 2.8 eV
  • Bulk resistivity: >1012[omega]*cm
  • Optical transmission: 60%
    High thermal efficiency
Benefits
  • Compact, low cost, low energy
  • All solid state detection
  • Versatile design for a wide-range of applications (hand-held, high resolution, bulk counter, imaging)
  • High intrinsic gamma/neutron discrimination
Applications and Industries
  • Neutron science facilities or neutron detection and imaging entities will be interested in the increased spatial resolution and possible detection efficiency
  • Industrial firms in the oil industry and transportation providers would be interest in the detection and security benefits
  • Government agencies with research or operation interest in nuclear nonproliferation, radiation detection, and homeland security
  • Non-linear optics
  • Medical imaging
More Information

TRL 5: 6LiInSe2 crystals of sufficient size and bulk electrical properties are readily made in the laboratory, and detection of ionizing radiation has been successful with rudimentary detector archetypes.

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Application 20150378031
Application
20150378031
VISIBLE SCINTILLATION PHOTODETECTOR DEVICE INCORPORATING CHALCOPYRITE SEMICONDUCTOR CRYSTALS
A photodetector device, including: a scintillator material operable for receiving incident radiation and emitting photons in response; a photodetector material coupled to the scintillator material operable for receiving the photons emitted by the scintillator material and generating a current in response, wherein the photodetector material includes a chalcopyrite semiconductor crystal; and a circuit coupled to the photodetector material operable for characterizing the incident radiation based on the current generated by the photodetector material. Optionally, the scintillator material includes a gamma scintillator material and the incident radiation received includes gamma rays. Optionally, the photodetector material is further operable for receiving thermal neutrons and generating a current in response. The circuit is further operable for characterizing the thermal neutrons based on the current generated by the photodetector material.
09/02/2015
Filed
Patent 9,334,581
Patent
9,334,581
Methods for synthesizing semiconductor quality chalcopyrite crystals for nonlinear optical and radiation detection applications and the like
A method for synthesizing I-III-VI.sub.2 compounds, including: melting a Group III element; adding a Group I element to the melted Group III element at a rate that allows the Group I and Group III elements to react thereby providing a single phase I-III compound; and adding a Group VI element to the single phase I-III compound under heat, with mixing, and/or via vapor transport. The Group III element is melted at a temperature of between about 200 degrees C. and about 700 degrees C. Preferably, the Group I element consists of a neutron absorber and the group III element consists of In or Ga. The Group VI element and the single phase I-III compound are heated to a temperature of between about 700 degrees C. and about 1000 degrees C. Preferably, the Group VI element consists of S, Se, or Te. Optionally, the method also includes doping with a Group IV element activator.
Y-12 National Security Complex 05/10/2016
Issued
Application 20160041273
Application
20160041273
HANDHELD DUAL THERMAL NEUTRON DETECTOR AND GAMMA-RAY SPECTROMETER
A combined thermal neutron detector and gamma-ray spectrometer system, including: a first detection medium including a lithium chalcopyrite crystal operable for detecting neutrons; a gamma ray shielding material disposed adjacent to the first detection medium; a second detection medium including one of a doped metal halide, an elpasolite, and a high Z semiconductor scintillator crystal operable for detecting gamma rays; a neutron shielding material disposed adjacent to the second detection medium; and a photodetector coupled to the second detection medium also operable for detecting the gamma rays; wherein the first detection medium and the second detection medium do not overlap in an orthogonal plane to a radiation flux. Optionally, the first detection medium includes a .sup.6LiInSe.sub.2 crystal. Optionally, the second detection medium includes a SrI.sub.2(Eu) scintillation crystal.
Y-12 National Security Complex 08/07/2014
Filed
Application 20150285924
Application
20150285924
RECHARGEABLE SOLID STATE NEUTRON DETECTOR AND VISIBLE RADIATION INDICATOR
A radiation detection device, including: a support structure; and a chalcopyrite crystal coupled to the support structure; wherein, when the chalcopyrite crystal is exposed to radiation, a visible spectrum of the chalcopyrite crystal changes from an initial color to a modified color. The visible spectrum of the chalcopyrite crystal is changed back from the modified color to the initial color by annealing the chalcopyrite crystal at an elevated temperature below a melting point of the chalcopyrite crystal over time. The chalcopyrite crystal is optionally a .sup.6LiInSe.sub.2 crystal. The radiation is comprised of neutrons that decrease the .sup.6Li concentration of the chalcopyrite crystal via a .sup.6Li(n,.alpha.) reaction. The initial color is yellow and the modified color is one of orange and red. The annealing temperature is between about 450 degrees C. and about 650 degrees C. and the annealing time is between about 12 hrs and about 36 hrs.
06/03/2015
Filed
Application 20160370477
Application
20160370477
NEUTRON IMAGING SYSTEMS UTILIZING LITHIUM-CONTAINING SEMICONDUCTOR CRYSTALS
A neutron imaging system, including: a plurality of Li-III-VI.sub.2 semiconductor crystals arranged in an array, wherein III represents a Group III element and VI represents a Group VI element; and electronics operable for detecting and a charge in each of the plurality of crystals in the presence of neutrons and for imaging the neutrons. Each of the crystals is formed by: melting the Group III element; adding the Li to the melted Group III element at a rate that allows the Li and Group III element to react, thereby providing a single phase Li-III compound; and adding the Group VI element to the single phase Li-III compound and heating. Optionally, each of the crystals is also formed by doping with a Group IV element activator.
Y-12 National Security Complex 03/31/2014
Filed
Application 20160146953
Application
20160146953
THERMAL NEUTRON DETECTOR AND GAMMA-RAY SPECTROMETER UTILIZING A SINGLE MATERIAL
A combined thermal neutron detector and gamma-ray spectrometer system, including: a detection medium including a lithium chalcopyrite crystal operable for detecting thermal neutrons in a semiconductor mode and gamma-rays in a scintillator mode; and a photodetector coupled to the detection medium also operable for detecting the gamma rays. Optionally, the detection medium includes a .sup.6LiInSe.sub.2 crystal. Optionally, the detection medium comprises a compound formed by the process of: melting a Group III element; adding a Group I element to the melted Group III element at a rate that allows the Group I and Group III elements to react thereby providing a single phase I-III compound; and adding a Group VI element to the single phase I-III compound and heating; wherein the Group I element includes lithium.
09/30/2015
Filed
Patent 9,429,662
Patent
9,429,662
Bulk semiconducting scintillator device for radiation detection
A bulk semiconducting scintillator device, including: a Li-containing semiconductor compound of general composition Li-III-VI.sub.2, wherein III is a Group III element and VI is a Group VI element; wherein the Li-containing semiconductor compound is used in one or more of a first mode and a second mode, wherein: in the first mode, the Li-containing semiconductor compound is coupled to an electrical circuit under bias operable for measuring electron-hole pairs in the Li-containing semiconductor compound in the presence of neutrons and the Li-containing semiconductor compound is also coupled to current detection electronics operable for detecting a corresponding current in the Li-containing semiconductor compound; and, in the second mode, the Li-containing semiconductor compound is coupled to a photodetector operable for detecting photons generated in the Li-containing semiconductor compound in the presence of the neutrons.
Y-12 National Security Complex 08/30/2016
Issued
Patent 9,499,406
Patent
9,499,406
Methods for the additive manufacturing of semiconductor and crystal materials
A method for the additive manufacturing of inorganic crystalline materials, including: physically combining a plurality of starting materials that are used to form an inorganic crystalline compound to be used as one or more of a semiconductor, scintillator, laser crystal, and optical filter; heating or melting successive regions of the combined starting materials using a directed heat source having a predetermined energy characteristic, thereby facilitating the reaction of the combined starting materials; and allowing each region of the combined starting materials to cool in a controlled manner, such that the desired inorganic crystalline compound results. The method also includes, prior to heating or melting the successive regions of the combined starting materials using the directed heat source, heating the combined starting materials to facilitate initial reaction of the combined starting materials. The method further includes translating the combined starting materials and/or the directed heat source between successive locations. The method still further includes controlling the mechanical, electrical, photonic, and/or optical properties of the inorganic crystalline compound.
11/22/2016
Issued
Patent 7,687,780
Patent
7,687,780
Semiconductor radiation detector
A semiconductor detector for ionizing electromagnetic radiation, neutrons, and energetic charged particles. The detecting element is comprised of a compound having the composition I-III-VI.sub.2 or II-IV-V.sub.2 where the "I" component is from column 1A or 1B of the periodic table, the "II" component is from column 2B, the "III" component is from column 3A, the "IV" component is from column 4A, the "V" component is from column 5A, and the "VI" component is from column 6A. The detecting element detects ionizing radiation by generating a signal proportional to the energy deposited in the element, and detects neutrons by virtue of the ionizing radiation emitted by one or more of the constituent materials subsequent to capture. The detector may contain more than one neutron-sensitive component.
Y-12 National Security Complex 03/30/2010
Issued
Technology Status
Development StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
DevelopmentAvailable02/20/201702/13/2017

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