New Properties and Prospects of Hot Intraband Luminescence for Fast timing

  • Sergey I. OmelkovEmail author
  • Vitali Nagirnyi
  • Marco Kirm
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Physics book series (SPPHY, volume 227)


Recent progress in various fields of scintillator applications has created a high demand for ultrafast timing. One of the perspective scintillation mechanisms for that is hot intraband luminescence (IBL). This is a universal intrinsic luminescence effect that occurs at the time scale of electron-phonon relaxation with characteristic time below 1 ps and is inherent to all condensed matter. It was first discovered by D.I. Vaisburd et al. in 1974, but not yet utilized for any application. Having broad structureless spectrum similar to that of Cherenkov radiation, it does not have excitation energy or excitation density threshold. It is temperature-independent and tolerant to impurities and doping. Although IBL yield is too low (maximum value currently detected is 33 ph/MeV in CsI) to operate as a scintillation itself, it can be combined with some other fast scintillation mechanism (like crossluminescence) to significantly improve time resolution by providing prompt photons for precise time-tagging of a scintillation event. The IBL yield can potentially be increased by engineering material band structure aimed at increasing the number of possible highly allowed radiative intraband transitions and their probability. The combined ultrafast scintillation mechanism can be applied for example to achieve the goal of 10-ps resolution in TOF-PET or to mitigate pileup rejection problem in calorimeters for high energy physics. For other potential applications like hard x-ray imaging at a GHz frame rate, IBL can be used as a single scintillation mechanism provided brighter IBL emitting materials will be found and high-efficiency detectors with high time resolution will be used. From the latter perspective, superconductive nanowire single-photon detectors are a very promising emerging technology, demonstrating <3 ps time resolution and quantum efficiency close to 100%. With those detectors, IBL can potentially provide picosecond time resolution for scintillation.



This work was funded by Estonian Research Council (projects PUT1081, PRG111, IUT2-26). A partial financial support from the Estonian Centre of Excellence TK141 by the EU through the European Regional Development Fund (TK141, project No. 2014–2020.4.01.15-0011) is gratefully acknowledged. The work is inspired by Crystal Clear Collaboration and performed in the frame of COST Action TD1401 “FAST”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergey I. Omelkov
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vitali Nagirnyi
    • 1
  • Marco Kirm
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Physics University of TartuTartuEstonia

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