Jose David Delago
– Glowing Detectors –
Department – Chemistry and Biochemistry (Graduate Student) –
Research Field – Polymer Chemistry –
How image was captured – Under UV Lamp –
Research Impact & Significance – These glowing disks are simple scintillators that can detect γ-ray radiation. José David Delgado, a chemistry graduate student in Joseph B. Schlenoff’s group at Florida State University, made them by embedding polymer disks with organobismuth and organometallic complexes. The polymers absorb the γ rays and get excited. They transfer that energy to the organobismuth compound, which in turn passes it down to the organometallic complex. Once excited, these complexes then emit different colored light depending on their composition. Border patrol agents could use these disk scintillators to screen for nuclear materials being smuggled into the country.