ZBLAN Glass: Improving Medical Imaging with Europium Doped HoF3 and SrCl2 based Storage Phosphors
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conference paper description
ZBLAN glass, a glass made from zirconium, barium, lanthanum, aluminum, and sodium, has capabilities of a storage phosphor which makes it a good alternative to x-ray films. A group of researchers gathered over the summer at the University of Tennessee Space Institute with the main goal of characterizing two different series of the glass, one with HoF3 and another with SrCl2. Both sets were doped with Europium, and characterization of both series started with the differential scanning calorimeter to determine the glass transitional phases. From that point, each sample was heat treated to reach the temperatures of the hexagonal and orthorhombic phases as found via DSC. The photoluminescence of the samples was then tested. An x-ray diffraction machine was run on the samples after they had been heat-treated in order to better determine which crystals were forming. This was done in-situ for the HoF3 series and ex-situ for the SrCl2 series. A scanning electron microscope was also employed to find distinct morphologies on certain samples. All of this was done in order to further develop the idea of using the ZBLAN’s storage phosphor-like properties for medical imaging, specifically, mammography. With further experimentation, it has the potential to achieve better image quality than current flat-panel based digital radiography methods at a lower cost.