A Photo and Thermally Stimulated Luminescence Study of BaCl2:Eu2+ with Application to Neutron Imaging
This thesis presents the results of a photo and thermally stimulated luminescence study of europium-doped barium chloride in relation to its potential application as a storage phosphor in glass ceramics for radiation imaging, particularly for neutron imaging. Previous work done on lithium borate (LiBO) glasses containing BaCl2:Eu2+ nanocrystals at Victoria University of Wellington had demonstrated comparable imaging capability with commercially available BaFBr:Eu2+ based imaging plates, though the sensitivity and spatial resolution were inferior to that material, and there was a substantial afterglow during the read-out process which degraded any image. These problems are addressed here. The effect of various different co-dopants on the storage properties was examined using the thermally stimulated luminescence (TSL) technique, with dopants primarily chosen from the alkali and alkaline earth elements. The resulting glow curves have been analysed to determine the activation energies associated with the various traps, and tentative assignments of structural defects to the various glow curve peaks are proposed. It was found that Li+ and Na+ gave small increases (20% and 50% respectively) in efficiency, though other dopants tended to reduce the overall output. In particular, K+ and Rb+ were found to substantially reduce the output efficiency. It was found that Li+ co-doped BaCl2:Eu2+ contained thermally unstable traps which at room temperature could result in the observed afterglow in LiBO/BaCl2 glass ceramics through a read-out induced phototransfer process. The experimental measurements required substantial hardware and software development of the existing VUW facilities for TSL, and these improvements are also described here. The most significant improvements are an extension of the operating range at the lower end of the existing TSL spectrometer to -50 degrees C through a cooled gas flow system, and the engineering of a completely new system to record TSL from 25 K to 400 K.