Student wins award for LabLogic scintillation tile project

24 July 2019

University of Sheffield student's research paves the way for the development of plastic scintillation tile

Diego Alonso Cimadom, an undergraduate student at the University of Sheffield, came out on top with his work titled ‘Studies of neutron and gamma sensitivity in undoped and Gd-doped plastic scintillator’ winning best student poster at a nuclear security detection workshop, paving the way for the development of plastic scintillation tiles.

During his summer student placement in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, which was funded by the Nuclear Security Science Network, NuSec (www.nusec.uk), Diego researched neutron and gamma sensitivity in both undoped and gadolinium- doped plastic scintillators. The research was supported by LabLogic’s Group Research Director, Dr. Tom Deakin, and the University of Sheffield’s Professor Lee Thompson, as a result of a well-established partnership between LabLogic and the University.

The research and the poster work showed a potential for plastic scintillators in places such as airports and docks for nuclear non-proliferation purposes. Diego addressed the cost efficiency of using such a product and showed that plastic scintillators are much cheaper to manufacture than liquid and inorganic crystal scintillators. The findings that Diego has gathered with the help of LabLogic and the University of Sheffield has shown that there is an opportunity for further development into plastic scintillation tiles and that more research is required.

Dr. Tom Deakin commented on Diego’s successful poster work, “LabLogic has collaborated with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield for a number of years. Through the NuSec Pilot Project, Diego worked with Lee Thompson and I last summer to produce some very useful characterisation data on the range of plastic scintillation tiles that we are now able to offer as a product and are manufactured locally in Sheffield and sold by our sister company Southern Scientific. It was very rewarding to see Diego present the outcomes of his work at the Nuclear Security Detection Workshop at the University of Surrey in April and receive the prize for the best undergraduate poster. The project has certainly given us food for thought in terms of the next stages of the development of plastic scintillation materials and we look forward to collaborating with the University of Sheffield for many more years to come.”