Temperature Dependence in Organic Scintillators

Research Focus Areas: 7

Undergraduate Students: M. Intwan, A. Rajadhyaksha, & R. Lopezle

Experimental setup diagram with labels of fans and pipes for temperature control, Source, EJ-309 Detector, SD700 Datalogger, Hot plate, Thermal chamber, and FL601 Recirculating Cooler

Organic scintillator detectors are used for a broad number of applications in nuclear science, security, safeguards, and nonproliferation. One challenge in using these materials in robust field-deployable systems is that they exhibit temperature dependence in their light output and pulse shape used to characterize the energy and particle type of an interaction. This temperature dependence has been characterized in anthracene (Schuster, Brubaker 2016) over a small temperature range but is not well understood in other materials and at more extreme temperatures.

Previous work by Schuster and Brubaker showed that the light output and pulse shape produced by 662 keV gamma-ray events in anthracene vary by approximately 8% over a 6°C temperature range. We aim to characterize the temperature dependence in organic scintillators over a wider temperature range to better understand how temperature may affect field-deployable systems that use these detectors. We will start by characterizing EJ309 liquid and crystalline stilbene detectors, two widely used materials. Such a characterization would enable users to correct for temperature effects as systems are carried or moved between environments. This correction is particularly important in search and response scenarios in which emergency responders are moving through cities or environments with variable temperature and weather patterns.


  1. CVT Workshop at the University of Michigan, October 16 2016

Related Journal Articles:

  1. P. Schuster and E. Brubaker, “Investigating the Anisotropic Scintillation Response in Anthracene through Neutron, Gamma-Ray, and Muon Measurements”, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, 63(3), 1942–1954. https://doi.org/10.1109/TNS.2016.2542589