Wavelength-shifting fiber readout of LaCl 3 and LaBr 3 scintillators

Gary L. Case, Southern University and A&M College
Michael L. Cherry, Louisiana State University
J. Gregory Stacy, Southern University and A&M College
Christopher E. Welch, Louisiana State University


Inorganic scintillators such as NaI(Tl) and CsI(Na) have been used extensively in hard x-ray and low-energy gamma-ray imaging systems. Recently, a new generation of scintillators has been developed with properties that could greatly enhance the performance of such imaging systems. In particular, the lanthanum halides show great promise with increased light yield and peak emission at shorter wavelengths compared to NaI or CsI. Since these scintillators emit at relatively short wavelengths, wavelength-shifting fibers can be used which re-emit at wavelengths around 420 nm, providing a good match to bialkali photocathode response. Multianode photomultiplier tubes can be used to read out individual fibers from orthogonal layers to provide x-y position information, while energy measurements can be made by large area photomultiplier tubes. Such an arrangement potentially provides improved overall position and energy resolution and lower thresholds compared to imaging systems configured as standard NaI or CsI gamma cameras. We present measurements of the energy resolution obtained from lanthanum chloride (LaCl 3) and lanthanum bromide (LaBr 3) scintillators viewed both perpendicular to the axis and down the length of square multi-clad wavelength-shifting fibers. These results are compared to a standard NaI detector with wavelength-shifting fibers. The implications of these results for gamma-ray imaging will then be discussed.