Samarium activated storage phosphors for personal radiation monitoring and medical imaging

Program Code: 

Prof Hans Riesen (

Description of Work: 


The project aims to exploit our recent discovery of a novel class of X-ray storage phosphors. In particular, nanocrystalline BaFCl:Sm3+ is an efficient photoluminescent storage phosphor with a mechanism that is based on the reduction of Sm3+ to Sm2+ upon exposure to ionising radiation. The objectives of this project are to enhance the sensitivity of the phosphor by optimising the preparation methods and testing of the phosphor for personal radiation monitoring and medical imaging. The importance of the former has been highlighted by the recent events in Fukushima, Japan. The phosphor may allow a reduction of X-ray dose in medical imaging, a highly desirable outcome.

Description of Work:

  • A range of different preparation routes will be investigated in order to optimise the sensitivity of the storage phosphor
  • The dependence of the sensitivity as a function of particle size, samarium concentration and co-doping by other metal ions will be investigated.
  • The phosphors will be investigated by advanced laser spectroscopy, synchrotron based powder X-ray diffraction and X-ray absorption and electron microscopy.
  • The potential of the phosphor in personal radiation monitoring, clinical dosimetry and medical imaging will be explored. This includes building reader units, employing LEDs and lasers, for dosimetry and medical imaging.