Organic Crystal Growth

Crystal growth of organic crystals is based on the method developed before for growth of super-large KDP and DKDP (deuterated analog) crystals for the world’s largest laser, National Ignition Facility (NIF), operating now at LLNL. The method has been modified for growth of scintillation crystals from organic solutions. Varieties of new aromatic crystals never grown before have been produced for scintillation mechanisms studies. Unique, unknown previously, properties were discovered in some of the new materials scaled later for specific use in radiation detection or developed to the level of commercial production. More than 10-cm-scale crystals of bibenzyl (BB) and diphenylacetylene (DPAC), found to have no delayed light afterglow in their scintillation decays, are being used now in NIF diagnostic experiments for detection of 14 MeV neutron. Large, rapidly grown stilbene crystals are produced commercially by an American company, Inrad Optics. The first deuterated analog of stilbene has been recently grown for neutron spectroscopy.

Natalia Zaitseva (left) with the first >0.5 m NIF-size KDP crystal grown in 1998; Leslie Carman (right) in the current organic crystal growth lab.

PSD plastics with improved physical stability and scintillation performance produced by Eljen Technology as EJ-276 product using LLNL-licensed technology.

Various large solution grown organic crystals.