Improved Lithium-Loaded Liquid Scintillators for Neutron Detection
A liquid scintillator with a substantially increased lithium weight was developed by
ORNL researchers. Scintillators are widely used for the detection of neutron radiation
emitted by radioactive sources.
Conventional liquid scintillators are loaded with neutron absorbers. However, these
scintillators generally have lower than optimum light output and pulse shape
discrimination. This invention addresses these limitations with higher lithium loads
that can remain transparent in the liquid composition. These features also enable
discrimination of neutron and gamma radiation.
The composition includes one or more nonpolar organic solvents, lithium-6, and one
or more fluorophores. The scintillators can be used for neutron scattering–based
spectroscopic techniques, homeland security detection of illicit fissile nuclear material,
and medical imaging applications.
High light output and pulse shape discrimination combination
Increased lithium weight percentage loaded into liquid scintillator cocktail
Enhanced solubility of lithium salts
Gamma, X-ray, and neutron radiation detection
Low energy emission detection
Neutron scattering spectroscopy
Medical imaging applications, such as positron emission tomography
Clinical research and analysis of pharmaceuticals
Sheng Dai, Banu Kesanli, and John S. Neal, Lithium Loaded Liquid Scintillators with Pulse Shape Discrimination Characteristics for Neutron Detection, U.S. Patent Application 12/605,408, filed October 26, 2009.
Chemical Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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