Physicists use plastics to detect radiation

Nov 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: Technique simplifies the creation of high-tech crystals

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New approach to form non-equilibrium structures

6 hours ago

Although most natural and synthetic processes prefer to settle into equilibrium—a state of unchanging balance without potential or energy—it is within the realm of non-equilibrium conditions where new possibilities lie. ...

Nike krypton laser achieves spot in Guinness World Records

8 hours ago

A set of experiments conducted on the Nike krypton fluoride (KrF) laser at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) nearly five years ago has, at long last, earned the coveted Guinness World Records title for achieving "Highest ...

Unleashing the power of quantum dot triplets

12 hours ago

Quantum computers have yet to materialise. Yet, scientists are making progress in devising suitable means of making such computers faster. One such approach relies on quantum dots—a kind of artificial atom, ...

Chemist develops X-ray vision for quality assurance

12 hours ago

It is seldom sufficient to read the declaration of contents if you need to know precisely what substances a product contains. In fact, to do this you need to be a highly skilled chemist or to have genuine ...

The future of ultrashort laser pulses

12 hours ago

Rapid advances in techniques for the creation of ultra-short laser pulses promise to boost our knowledge of electron motions to an unprecedented level.

User comments : 0