Date of Award

Winter 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical & Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Sacharia Albin

Committee Member

Mounir Laroussi

Committee Member

Frederic McKenzie

Committee Member

William Winfree


Ionizing radiation detecting microstructured optical fibers are fabricated, modeled and experimentally measured for X-ray detection in the 10-40 keV energy range. These fibers operate by containing a scintillator material which emits visible light when exposed to ionizing radiation. An X-ray source characterized with a CdTe spectrometer is used to quantify the X-ray detection efficiency of the fibers. The solid state CdTe detector is considered 100% efficient in this energy range. A liquid filled microstructured optical fiber (MOF) is presented where numerical analysis and experimental observation leads to a geometric theory of photon transmission using total internal reflection. The model relates the quantity and energy of absorbed X-rays to transmitted and measured visible light photons. Experimental measurement of MOF photon counts show good quantitative agreement with calculated theoretical values. This work is extended to a solid organic scintillator, anthracene, which shows improved light output due to its material properties. A detailed description of the experimental approach used to fabricate anthracene MOF is presented. The fabrication technique uses a modified Bridgman-Stockbarger crystal growth technique to grow anthracene single crystals inside MOF. The anthracene grown in the MOF is characterized using spectrophotometry, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. These results show the anthracene grown is a high purity crystal with a structure similar to anthracene grown from the liquid, vapor and melt techniques. The X-ray measurement technique uses the same approach as that for liquid filled MOF for efficiency comparison. A specific fiber configuration associated with the crystal growth allows an order of magnitude improvement in X-ray detection efficiency. The effect of thin film external coatings on the measured efficiency is presented and related to the fiber optics. Lastly, inorganic alkali halide scintillator materials of CsI(Tl), CsI(Na), and NaI(Tl) are grown as single crystals inside the MOF. These alkali halide fibers show an improvement in X-ray detection efficiency comparable with the CdTe detector and can be more efficient, dependent upon the photon counter efficiency and fiber configuration. The fiber configuration for this improved efficiency is described as the same for the higher efficiency anthracene MOF.