We are strongly committed to the development of room temperature gamma ray spectrometers with better energy resolution than currently available from scintillation devices. These instruments have important applications in growing areas such as arms control and nonproliferation activities, identification of contraband materials, medical imaging, and radiation protection.
Many of the national laboratories are deeply involved in techniques for the identification and control of special nuclear materials throughout the world. Inspection requirements set by treaties require an increasing level of sophistication and capability in monitoring devices. Our current work with compound semiconductors is aimed largely at this application, and its future development can play an important part in national security issues. A sizable fraction of all the development support currently available at the federal level for radiation instrumentation is currently provided to meet these needs. We expect that this application will remain an important one for the decade ahead. Other work in the area of nanometer-sized detectors has a close tie to the University of Michigan’s Nanotechnology initiative.
While the progress in semiconductor devices has received much attention, recent breakthroughs in scintillators has not gone unnoticed by the international community. New compounds using lanthanum halides have yielded competitive energy resolutions in small sizes. With the potential to grow much larger volumes, we are beginning to look at the potential of these new materials in energy spectroscopy.
Delay-line Electrode Detectors based on High-Resistivity Silicon.