Efficient, Fast and Reabsorption-free Plastic Scintillators using Perovskite Nanocrystals
Sergio Brovelli a
a Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, via Roberto Cozzi 55, I-20125, Milano, Italy
Proceedings of Internet Conference for Quantum Dots (iCQD)
Online, Spain, 2020 July 14th - 17th
Organizers: Quinten Akkerman, Raffaella Buonsanti, Zeger Hens and Maksym Kovalenko
Invited Speaker, Sergio Brovelli, presentation 059
Publication date: 3rd July 2020

The urgency for affordable and reliable detectors for ionizing radiation in medical diagnostics, nuclear control and particle physics is generating growing demand for innovative scintillator devices. Plastic scintillators consisting of polymeric matrices embedding scintillating materials offer valuable advantages over conventional inorganic scintillating crystals owing to their design flexibility, low fabrication cost and light weight. Key features to be attained are efficient scintillation, fast emission lifetime, high interaction probability with ionizing radiation - enhanced by the presence of high atomic number (Z) elements – as well as mitigated reabsorption capability, so as to minimize optical losses in large volume/high-density detectors. Lead halide perovskite nanocrystals (NCs) have very recently emerged as valid scintillation materials that can be produced at room temperature via large-scale, cost-effective routes. In this talk, I will show how we can advantage of such appealing features to realize low reabsorption, fast and efficient plastic scintillator exploiting CsPbBr3 perovskite NCs as high-Z sensitizers for a conjugated organic dye specifically designed so as to feature a large Stokes shift and fast emission lifetime. Binary NC:dye blends incorporated into poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) nanocomposites show essentially loss-free sensitization resulting in radioluminescence performance comparable to high quality commercial bismuth germanate crystals and emission lifetime of ~3.4 ns that is competitive with established fast scintillators based on rare earths. Scintillation measurements using 5.5 MeV α-particles emitted by 241Am isotopes suggest an achievable light yield larger than 1000 ph/MeVα. Finally, proof-of-concept large size plastic scintillators consisting of optical grade PMMA waveguides coated with our NC:dye nanocomposites show nearly reabsorption-free scintillation for long optical distances under both X-rays and α-particle excitation.

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR) through the grant Dipartimenti di Eccellenza-2017 ‘Materials For Energy’, from the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) through the ESQUIRE project and from EU-H2020 through the EIT SPARK project (grant no. 16290). L.M. acknowledges funding from the programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020 (2014–2020) under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement COMPASS no. 691185.

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