Organic Fluorophores for More Efficient Plastic Scintillators (2016-019)

Market Overview:

These organic fluorophores have enhanced luminosity in response to ionizing radiation, increasing the efficiency of plastic scintillators and providing greater environmental stability. With increasing investments in radiation monitoring for homeland security, the scintillator market is expected to reach $607.21 Million by 2025. Currently available plastic scintillators use a polystyrene as the matrix due to its high optical transparency, however, more efficient and inexpensive scintillators are needed for detection of radioactive materials in homeland security, nuclear forensics, and nuclear safeguards applications. Clemson University researchers have developed a new class of organic pyrozaline-based fluorophores with enhanced emission and luminosity in response to ionizing radiation. These compounds offer higher efficiency of plastic scintillators, reduced cost and fluorophore loading, and enhanced chemical and environmental stability. 


Application                                                                                            Stage of Development

Homeland security, nuclear forensics, nuclear safeguards                     Preliminary Prototype



•  Utilizes simple chemical synthesis with common compounds, allowing scale-up to industrial level       

•  Uses reduced concentration and exhibits higher luminosity, making it highly cost effective compared

    to currently commercially-available organic fluorophores

•  Higher luminosity results in higher efficiency with enhanced detector stability against hazard

    chemical environment


Technical Summary

These synthesized fluorophore compounds show superior performance as plastic scintillators when dissolved in polystyrene or polyvinyltoluene matrices. Different optical and physical properties were tested to evaluate their efficiency in preparing bright plastic scintillating polymers for radiation detection and measurement. These included molar absorptivity, absorption and emission wavelengths and finally their quantum yield relative to a reference material. The compounds exhibit 3x high photoluminescence and 5x high luminosity in comparison to existing analogs. The effect of luminosity enhancement allows for significant reduction in fluorophore concentration in the plastic scintillator material without jeopardizing their properties. It also allows application of these fluorophores in neutron/gamma pulse shape discrimination materials at a reduced concentration in comparison to the existing composites. In addition, the chemical structure of the suggested fluorophores allows their functionalization for further covalent bounding to the matrix thus enhancing chemical and environmental stability of the scintillating material.


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Inventors:                        Timothy Devol, Valery Bliznyuk


Patent Type:                    Utility


Serial Number:                62/326,391


CURF Ref:                      2016-019

Patent Information:
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Andy Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
Valery Bliznyuk
Ayman Seliman
Timothy Devol
Nadezhda Derevyanko
Alexander Ishchenko
Medical Device
Optical Fibers/Materials/Other
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