Advanced Manufacturing, Electronics and Microsystems: TechConnect Briefs 2015Advanced Manufacturing, Electronics and Microsystems TechConnect Briefs 2015

Photonic Materials & Devices Chapter 5

Glass-Ceramic Scintillators for High-Resolution Medical Imaging

M.B. Beckert, J.H. Nadler, Z. Kang, B.K. Wagner
Georgia Tech Research Institute, United States

pp. 166 - 169

Keywords: nanocomposite, photonic nanocrystals

Screens made from micron-sized phosphor particles (such as Gd2O2S:Tb) are efficient and bright X-ray converters used in medical imaging systems. However, the large size of the phosphor particles causes the screen to be opaque and, therefore, much of the light produced by the phosphors is scattered before creating an image. This limits the spatial resolution achievable with powder-based screens and requires higher radiation doses to be used to achieve a clear image. High resolution CsI:Tl single crystals can be used as an alternative, but are often prohibitively expensive, costing up to $4,300 per cubic centimeter. There is ample theoretical and experimental argument to suggest that nanoparticles in a transparent glass matrix will exhibit significantly better image resolution than current screens that use micron-sized phosphor particles and cost far less than single crystals. These glass-ceramic materials, therefore, represent an attractive alternative for medical imaging systems used in radiation therapy and dentistry. Specific areas where glass-ceramic scintillators are particularly competitive with current technology include high transparency, simplified manufacturing via melt casting, mechanical and chemical stability, and much lower cost per unit volume (