Laser-segmented Scintillators for High Energy Digital Radiography

The use of ever larger components and denser materials combined with increasing requirements for high resolution safety inspection poses a challenge to conventional state of the art x-ray systems. As higher energies (>80 keV) are used to adequately penetrate the components, detectors with improved sensitivity to the higher energy x-rays are likewise needed. Utilizing thicker scintillators provides the increase in stopping power, however degrades spatial resolution considerably. We have developed a method to segment scintillator materials that effectively prevents light spread within the scintillator allowing for much thicker scintillator layers to be used while preserving the desired spatial resolution. Using our proprietary laser-segmentation technique, we have successfully demonstrated that a variety of scintillator materials can be segmented to <1x1mm pixels and up to 20 mm thick with inter-pixel gaps as small as 10 μm. The process has been demonstrated with several transparent crystalline and ceramic scintillators including LYSO:Ce, CsI:Tl, NaI:Tl, and Lu2O3:Eu, with a pixel pitch as small as 100 μm and imaging area up to 80×80 mm. Here we present our recent results with these structured scintillators demonstrating excellent performance characteristics when coupled to several digital detectors.

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