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Physicist collaborates on radiation detection for homeland security

News Release — 25 January 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Sue Stevens, Senior Media Relations Officer, 817-272-3317, sstevens@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - Wei Chen, assistant professor of physics at The University of Texas at Arlington, is a collaborator with Agilitron Inc. researchers on  a $750,000 grant announced today from the  Department of  Defense Threat Reduction Agency for research on Bulk Composite Materials For Detection of Gamma Radiation.  Agilitron researchers are King Wang, principal investigator and vice president, and Guiquan Pan and Jinsong Huang, key investigators.

A subcontract of $200,264 was awarded to the UT Arlington Nano-Bio Physics group for the design and synthesis of scintillation nanoparticles for radiation detection.

The detection principle is based on the luminescence of the nanoparticles and quantum dots when they interact with radiation rays such as gamma-rays. These nanocomposite materials are more sensitive, more stable and even cheaper than traditional scintillation crystals for radiation detection.

The research is significantly important as it is related to homeland security, a critical issue to the United States. The potential for terrorist activities has focused attention on the need to detect nuclear weapons and radiological dispersal devices (dirty bombs).

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