LYSO crystal scintillators

Hi! Some time ago I’ve bought some 4x4x22mm LYSO Crystals to make a scintillation probe or just to test they.

From the manufacture:

LYSO crystal is an ideal generation scintillator crystal. LYSO (Cerium-doped Lutetium Yttrium Orthosilicate). LYSO crystal has the advantages of high light output and density, quick decay time, excellent energy resolution and low cost. These properties make LYSO an ideal candidate for a range of ray detection applications in nuclear physics and nuclear medicine, which require higher, improved timing resolution and superior energy resolution. “

The seller on ebay is the well know: “The Rad Lab”. For 12$ I’ve received 2 crystals. They are for sure intended to use into a proton emission tomography machine “PET”. More docs from Saint Gobain:

LYSO datasheet  NextGen LYSO


The Rad Lab LYSO Crystals

Some more info about this type of crystal:


Crystals in their package

I think this crystals are from a PET machine who was scrapped… but hey, they works great! Take a look at how they react when are exposed to some UV light.

LYSO crystals under UV light

NaI(TI) Crystal scintillator

This type of scintillator material is the best one that an hobbist could afford. At the moment NaI(TI) crystals are easy to find on eBay from russian or ukrainian sellers. Take care that NaI(TI) are highly higroscopic and if they absorb too much water they turn color to yellow than brown and finaly their light output drop to unusable level. As the majority of the sintillation materials, they are used coupled with a photomultiplier tube for Gamma Spectroscopy.

Gamma Spectroscopy probe

Some pics of my crystal and test with UV. It’s light output is huge!!! Shine so bright with some little UV from an UV led.

Front of the crystal with alluminum screen. The front protective cap is removed.
Back of the crystal. This is the face that will couple to the PMT’s window
With protective cap on
UV Phosphorescence

BC408 BC412 Plastic scintillators from Bicron

Some weeks ago I’ve bought from an US eBayer some cilindrical shaped plastic scintillators. From wikipedia “A scintillator is a material that exhibits scintillation — the property of luminescence,[1] when excited by ionizing radiation. Luminescent materials, when struck by an incoming particle, absorb its energy and scintillate”. This means that you can make a very  sensible radiation counter using a scintillation material coupled with a PMT to detect his ligh pulses.

Scintillation probe
Gamma Spectroscopy / scintillation probe

One is 1” diameter made of BC408, the other is 1-1/2″ of BC412.


This type of scintillators are very easy to use and cople to a photomultiplier tube, they just need some silicone coupling gel and a proper light tight enclosure to work. I’ve bought some otical coupling silicone too.

Optical coupling silicone

A simple way to determine that this pieces of plastic will work is to test with some UV light. If they are sensible to radiations they are sensible to UV too.

Some tech info about this type of plastic scintillators.


Here you can download the complete datasheet: sgc-bc400-404-408-412-416-data-sheet