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Crystals 2018, 8(2), 78; doi:10.3390/cryst8020078

Enhancing Light Extraction of Inorganic Scintillators Using Photonic Crystals

1
Conseil EuropéEn pour la Recherche NucléAire (CERN), 1211 Geneve 23, Switzerland
2
Physics Department, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo, 1-20126 Milano, Italy
3
Fakultät 1, RWTH Aachen University, Templergraben 55, 52062 Aachen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 25 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crystal Growth for Optoelectronic and Piezoelectric Applications)

Abstract

Inorganic scintillators are commonly used as sensors for ionizing radiation detectors in a variety of applications, ranging from particle and nuclear physics detectors, medical imaging, nuclear installations radiation control, homeland security, well oil logging and a number of industrial non-destructive investigations. For all these applications, the scintillation light produced by the energy deposited in the scintillator allows the determination of the position, the energy and the time of the event. However, the performance of these detectors is often limited by the amount of light collected on the photodetector. A major limitation comes from the fact that inorganic scintillators are generally characterized by a high refractive index, as a consequence of the required high density to provide the necessary stopping power for ionizing radiation. The index mismatch between the crystal and the surrounding medium (air or optical grease) strongly limits the light extraction efficiency because of total internal reflection (TIR), increasing the travel path and the absorption probability through multiple bouncings of the photons in the crystal. Photonic crystals can overcome this problem and produce a controllable index matching between the crystal and the output medium through an interface made of a thin nano-structured layer of optically-transparent high index material. This review presents a summary of the works aiming at improving the light collection efficiency of scintillators using photonic crystals since this idea was introduced 10 years ago. View Full-Text
Keywords: inorganic scintillator; photonic crystals; light extraction efficiency; coincidence time resolution; simulations inorganic scintillator; photonic crystals; light extraction efficiency; coincidence time resolution; simulations
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Salomoni, M.; Pots, R.; Auffray, E.; Lecoq, P. Enhancing Light Extraction of Inorganic Scintillators Using Photonic Crystals. Crystals 2018, 8, 78.

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