Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Materials Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Charles L. Melcher

Committee Members

Philip D. Rack, Lars Eriksson, Laurence F. Miller


This work focuses on discovery and development of novel binary halide scintillation materials for radiation detection applications. A complete laboratory for raw materials handling, ampoule preparation, material rapid synthesis screening, single crystal growth, sample cutting, polishing and packaging of hygroscopic halide scintillation materials has been established. Ce3+ and Eu2+ activated scintillators in three binary systems: Alkali Halide – Rare Earth Halide (AX–REX3), Alkali Halide – Alkaline Earth Halide (AX–AEX2) and Alkalin Earth Halide – Rare Earth Halide (AEX2–REX3) were systematically studied. Candidates for new scintillation materials in the three systems were selected based on a set of selection rules. A total of 42 Ce3+ or Eu2+ activated binary halide scintillation material candidates were synthesized and characterized. Among all synthesized candidates, 10 - 15 candidate materials were found to be highly promising in terms of high scintillation light output, fast scintillation decay or desirable emission wavelength.

Three most promising candidates, Cs3EuI5, CsGd2Cl7:Ce3+ and CsSrI3:Eu2+ were selected for single crystal growth and further evaluation. Technologies for single crystal growth of hygroscopic halide scintillation materials were developed. Detailed design of experimental apparatuses was discussed. Single crystals were successfully grown via Bridgman or Vertical Gradient Freeze techniques. Study on optical and scintillation properties was performed. Possibility of using CsGd2Cl7:Ce3+ as a neutron detector was confirmed.

CsSrI3:Eu2+ shows extraordinary scintillation light output (73,000 ph/MeV), excellent energy resolution (3.9%) and ease for crystal growth. A scaled-up crystal growth was carried out. A bulk crystal of 1” diameter CsSrI3:Eu2+ was successfully grown. Energy level structure and charge carrier traps in CsSrI3:Eu2+ were investigated. Potential of CsSrI3:Eu2+ in various radiation detection applications were evaluated.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."