School of Chemical and Physical Sciences

Radiation Imaging and Detection Group

We develop new solid state materials for the detection of X-rays, gamma rays and neutrons, and for recording images of objects placed in X-ray or neutron beams. Our aim is to design and make imaging and detection materials with superior performance - greater sensitivity and speed for detector materials and enhanced contrast and resolution for imaging.

Imaging

For imaging, we develop ceramic and glass ceramic ‘storage phosphors', where a latent image is stored in the material until it is read out by a laser. The image appears as light-induced phosphorescence wherever the X-rays were strongest. We also work on prompt phosphors, where the phosphorescent emission occurs at the same time as the X-irradiation.

Detection

For detection of X-rays and neutrons, we focus on inorganic transparent ceramic materials that exhibit scintillation, where the arrival of an X-ray photon is recorded indirectly as a flash of light. Our group is also developing detector materials for dosimetry, the measurement of radiation dose. We focus on materials where the radiation dose can be read out by optical means, making use of the storage phosphor effect.

A common theme to our work is an emphasis on materials which are physically structured, ranging from  the nanometer scale, such as glass ceramics, to the macro scale as in layered detector structures.

Applications

Applications for this technology are in nuclear medicine and radiography for medical, dental, materials testing and security applications. We develop prototype instruments which use our dosimetric and imaging materials.

Research Funding

Our group comprises physicists and chemists based at Victoria University, Industrial Research Ltd and GNS Science.

We are funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through a program entitled ‘Nanostructures and Composites for Radiation Imaging and Detection’.

Read more about our current research projects.