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Student checks on equipment in SMRC Lab


The center focuses the academic resources of several departments on research projects dedicated to the development of innovative materials for state-of-the-art radiation sensors and imaging systems. Located in the university’s Science and Engineering Research Facility, the center’s research activities include:

  • Scintillator discovery
  • Crystal growth
  • Characterization of new scintillator compositions
  • Fundamental investigation of scintillation mechanisms
  • Development of novel synthesis techniques
  • Synthesis of polycrystalline ceramics
  • Thin film synthesis
  • Numerical simulations of growth conditions
  • Theoretical investigations of structural and optical properties of crystals

Scintillators in Science and Industry

The SMRC conducts both basic research and research based on the scintillation material needs of private industry and national laboratories. Scintillator development is crucial to the advancement of a variety of commercial and scientific applications including:

  • Medical imaging systems for early detection of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease
  • Homeland security inspection and monitoring equipment
  • Energy exploration equipment to identify current and future petroleum reserves
  • Detectors for basic research; examples include detectors used in searches for new elementary particles conducted at various accelerator facilities around the world and fundamental studies of matter using neutron scattering at the Spallation Neutron Source in nearby Oak Ridge, TN