Project Type

URC Presentation

College or School


Class Year





Engineering Physics

Faculty Research Advisor

Elena Long


One of the most important advances for modern experimental nuclear physics are scintillation-based detectors. Scintillators measure high-energy charged particles, which cause the material to fluoresce. These detectors must be optically clear so that the fluoresced light can be detected by a photomultiplier tube (PMT), which converts the signal into an electrical output that can be read out by a computer. My research is to design and directly 3D print scintillator detectors. I will test how well they can detect particles against standard machined detectors to improve detector efficiency. One of the main tasks I’ve been working on is figuring out the best way to make test pieces as transparent as possible by sanding, cerium oxide polishing, and coating in resin. I’ve also designed and 3D printed a completely opaque cylindrical case for the PMT. The PMT is capable of detecting light coming from a scintillator attached to its lens on a single photon level. That makes this instrument extremely sensitive to light, so it must operate in a completely lightproof environment. I’ve also been working on determining the ideal conditions under which resins with different amounts of scintillating ingredients can be mixed and printed. The key is to find a good temperature at which scintillating materials stay fully dissolved and don’t recrystallize so that a scintillator can be printed, but that is not too high. This allows me to 3D print liquid resin, but also ensures the resin doesn’t decompose from overheating. The next step of my research is mixing different recipes and 3D printing them to be tested for scintillation efficiency. Furthermore, I plan to continue altering the recipes further to reach maximum detection efficiency possible. Details of this work will be presented.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.