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An imaging spectrometer based on high resolution microscopy of fluorescent aluminum oxide



James A. Bartz, Cynthia J. Zeissler, V. V. Fomenko, Mark S. Akselrod


Fluorescent Nuclear Track Detector (FNTD) technology was tested as an imaging and spectroscopic tool for radionuclide analysis. This investigation intended to distinguish between characteristic α-particles of 239Pu (5.2 MeV), 234U (4.8 MeV) and 238U (4.2 MeV). FNTDs are Al2O3:C,Mg single crystals with color centers that undergo radiochromic transformation. FNTD readout is non-destructive and is performed with laser scanning confocal fluorescent microscopy. Ionization events register in the detector as bright fluorescent features on a weak fluorescent background. Images were acquired at several incrementing depths in the detector to produce 3D data sets. Spectroscopic information was obtained by measuring α-particle range in the detector after 3D image reconstruction. The resolution of this technique is fundamentally limited by particle range straggling (about 3.8 % (k=1) at these α-particle energies). The spectroscopic line-width as full width at half maximum (FWHM) was determined to be 0.4 MeV enabling discrimination between the isotopes of interest.
Radiation Measurements


fluorescence, laser scanning confocal microscopy, imaging, hot particles, alpha particles, spectroscopy, aluminum oxide


Bartz, J. , Zeissler, C. , Fomenko, V. and Akselrod, M. (2013), An imaging spectrometer based on high resolution microscopy of fluorescent aluminum oxide, Radiation Measurements, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created January 13, 2013, Updated October 12, 2021