Alpha detection using zinc oxide nanorods developed through low temperature hydrothermal growth

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Hardwick, Stephen
Hertel, Nolan E.
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Zinc Oxide whether in the form of nanorods, bulk melt, or other forms have been the subject of study across many areas of study especially for its n-type semi-conductor properties. The research into its usefulness as a scintillation detector is limited and is far from optimized. The subject of this project is to provide a broad baseline into this field for research to be conducted to further its ability as a radiation detector. Existing research into zinc oxide thin film scintillation detectors is limited and the application of research done into its use as a semiconductor only applies but so far in respect to furthering its use as a scintillation detector. The broad scope of experiments successfully seeded and grew zinc oxide nanorods on a two inch diameter half millimeter thick fused silica wafer with and without dopant (gallium and indium). Effects of quencher molecules present in residual growth solution bonded to the surface of the crystals were addressed with results changing and enhancing through use of alternate rinsing and cleaning method post growth. Scanning Electron Microscope characterization, photo-luminescence spectra and alpha particle detection spectra were successfully taken yielding promising results providing a clear path forward to advance this research and progress it into ability for neutron detection using neutron converter layer of boron or lithium.
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