Physicists use plastics to detect radiation

November 21, 2007

In applications ranging from hospital X-ray machines to instruments for astronomy, the standard way to measure the dose of radiation is to use a detector made from an inorganic semiconductor, such as silicon. It is not easy, however, to use this type of detector over large areas, and inorganic detectors are not flexible.

A team of researchers from the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey, led by Dr. Paul Sellin, has developed a new type of radiation detector made from a new type of plastic that conducts electricity. As the radiation dose increases, a greater current flows in the plastic detector, allowing an accurate measurement to be made. The research effort has received a boost recently in the form of a one-year research grant from the Science and Technology Facilities Council. The grant is being shared with Centronic Ltd., a Croydon-based company that manufactures and develops radiation detectors.

The Surrey team has published their preliminary findings in the prestigious international journal, Applied Physics Letters. Dr. Sellin and his collaborators in the Physics Department, Dr. Alan Dalton and Dr. Joe Keddie, have also filed a patent on organic radiation detectors with support from the University.

Dr. Sellin commented: "This successful research has grown from a collaborative effort drawing on our expertise in radiation detection and the experience within the Soft Condensed Matter Physics Group in making polymer films and understanding their properties."

Dr. Keddie added, "Within the Physics Department, the Radiation Laboratories and the Soft Matter Laboratories have benefited from recent investment from government SRIF funding. This investment is clearly leading to exciting scientific results combined with a patent and further funding."

Source: University of Surrey

Explore further: Thermometry using an optical nanofiber

Related Stories

Thermometry using an optical nanofiber

August 24, 2015

Experimental quantum physics often resides in the coldest regimes found in the universe, where the lack of large thermal disturbances allows quantum effects to flourish. A key ingredient to these experiments is being able ...

A detector shines in search for dark matter

August 20, 2015

Results of the XENON100 experiment are a bright spot in the search for dark matter. The team of international scientists involved in the project demonstrated the sensitivity of their detector and recorded results that challenge ...

Attosecond electron catapult

August 12, 2015

A team of physicists and chemists from the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics has studied the interaction of light with tiny glass particles.

Recommended for you

ATLAS and CMS experiments shed light on Higgs properties

September 1, 2015

Three years after the announcement of the discovery of a new particle, the so-called Higgs boson, the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations present for the first time combined measurements of many of its properties, at the third annual ...

Tiny drops of early universe 'perfect' fluid

September 1, 2015

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle collider for nuclear physics research at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, smashes large nuclei together at close to the speed of ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.