Security officials have tough tasks to handle for the integrity, peace of a country. One of them is the need to prevent criminals from smuggling dangerous materials into a country, and detection of nuclear substances has been expensive and difficult. In a bid for this, researchers at Northwestern University have developed new devices built on a low-cost material, for the detection and identification of radioactive isotopes.
The research team used cesium lead bromide in the form of perovskite crystals, and found they were able to fabricate highly efficient detectors. They created both small portable devices for field researchers and very large detectors.
New Device features dual advantages
The new method serves dual advantages for detecting gamma rays: it is less costly than typical devices and can differentiate between rays of different energies. And, the new method allows users to detect legal versus illegal gamma rays. In fact, these detectors are critical for national security, where they are used to detect illegal nuclear substances smuggled across borders. Besides this, these detectors are used in medical diagnostics imaging and nuclear forensics.
Going by this, the use of perovskite material has been advantageous. It has led to achieve high resolution energy detection for gamma rays with the use of a pixelated detector design, said the lead researcher of the study. With this, it takes researchers a step closer to fabricate electronic systems for airport security, medical diagnostics and imaging, and more.
Meanwhile, in past research, the performance of conventional cadmium zinc telluride detector and new cesium lead bromide detector compared by the team, to find the latter to be as well for detecting gamma rays.
Nonetheless, new research that used pixels instead of planar electrodes improved crystal sizes and has advanced the spectral resolution much more than conventional designs.