Academic and research departmentsFaculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Radiation and Medical Physics Group.
My research project
Low-lying states in the isotope Xe130 were populated in a Coulomb-excitation experiment performed at CERN's HIE-ISOLDE facility. The magnitudes and relative signs of seven E2 matrix elements and one M1 matrix element coupling five low-lying states in Xe130 were determined using the semiclassical coupled-channel Coulomb-excitation least-squares search code gosia. The diagonal E2 matrix elements of both the 21+ and 41+ states were extracted for the first time. The reduced transition strengths are in line with those obtained from previous measurements. Experimental results were compared with the general Bohr Hamiltonian with the microscopic input from mean-field theory utilizing universal nuclear energy density functional (UNEDF0), shell-model calculations using the GCN50:82 and SN100PN interactions, and simple phenomenological models (Davydov-Filippov and γ-soft). The extracted shape parameters indicate triaxial-prolate deformation in the ground-state band. In general, good agreement between theoretical predictions and experimental values was found, while neither phenomenological model was found to provide an adequate description of Xe130.
We measured absolute cross sections for neutron transfer channels populated in the Rb94+Pb208 binary reaction. Cross sections have been extracted identifying directly the lead isotopes with the high efficiency MINIBALL γ-ray array coupled to a particle detector combined with a radioactive Rb94 beam delivered at Elab=6.2 MeV/nucleon by the HIE-ISOLDE facility. We observed sizable cross sections in the neutron-rich mass region, where the heavy partner acquires neutrons. A fair agreement between the measured cross sections with those from GRAZING calculations gives confidence in the cross-section predictions of more neutron-rich nuclei produced via a larger number of transferred nucleons.
While there is great demand for effective, affordable radiation detectors in various applications, many commonly used scintillators have major drawbacks. Conventional inorganic scintillators have a fixed emission wavelength and require expensive, high-temperature synthesis; plastic scintillators, while fast, inexpensive, and robust, have low atomic numbers, limiting their X-ray stopping power. Formamidinium lead halide perovskite nanocrystals show promise as scintillators due to their high X-ray attenuation coefficient and bright luminescence. Here, we used a room-temperature, solution-growth method to produce mixed-halide FAPbX(3) (X = Cl, Br) nanocrystals with emission wavelengths that can be varied between 403 and 531 nm via adjustments to the halide ratio. The substitution of bromine for increasing amounts of chlorine resulted in violet emission with faster lifetimes, while larger proportions of bromine resulted in green emission with increased luminescence intensity. By loading FAPbBr(3) nanocrystals into a PVT-based plastic scintillator matrix, we produced 1 mm-thick nanocomposite scintillators, which have brighter luminescence than the PVT-based plastic scintillator alone. While nanocomposites such as these are often opaque due to optical scattering from aggregates of the nanoparticles, we used a surface modification technique to improve transmission through the composites. A composite of FAPbBr(3) nanocrystals encapsulated in inert PMMA produced even stronger luminescence, with intensity 3.8 x greater than a comparative FAPbBr(3)/plastic scintillator composite. However, the luminescence decay time of the FAPbBr(3)/PMMA composite was more than 3 x slower than that of the FAPbBr(3)/plastic scintillator composite. We also demonstrate the potential of these lead halide perovskite nanocomposite scintillators for low-cost X-ray imaging applications.