Stilbene Scintillation Crystals

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Technology Overview

Scintinel™ stilbene is an organic scintillator used for fast neutron detection.

Stilbene has long been recognized as an excellent material for detection of fast neutrons in a gamma-ray background. Now commercially available from Inrad Optics, this material holds the potential to enable next-generation radiation detection equipment for homeland security, nuclear nonproliferation, and physics research.


Crystalline stilbene has a high sensitivity to fast neutrons, nanosecond timing, and permits excellent discrimination between neutron and gamma radiation. The 400 nm scintillation emission is easily detected by photomultiplier tubes or silicon photomultipliers and self-absorption is low. It is solid, not flammable, and non-hazardous. Stilbene can be cut and polished and is not hygroscopic.


Stilbene performance is superior to liquid and plastic scintillators for applications where a neutron signal must be separated from a gamma background. Published research consistently demonstrates better pulse shape discrimination, lower gamma misclassification rate, lower threshold for gamma rejection, and greater neutron detection efficiency when using crystalline stilbene.


The detection of neutrons is a strong indicator of a fission source. The low threshold for neutron-gamma discrimination in stilbene permits identification of neutrons at lower energies than possible with liquid or plastic scintillators. Many other neutron detectors, including He-3, are sensitive only to low-energy thermal neutrons. By directly detecting fast neutrons, stilbene preserves information regarding the neutron energy distribution and direction.


Solution growth of organic scintillator crystals was established by researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory using technology developed for growth of large KDP crystals. This created an opportunity for radiation detection since traditional melt-grown organic scintillation crystals had size and availability limitations. We leveraged the existing growth and fabrication capabilities at Inrad Optics to offer stilbene in standard and custom dimensions ranging from 5” diameter cylinders to 3 mm cubes. Packaging options range from bare crystals to integration with a photodetector.

Inrad Optics produces stilbene at its New Jersey crystal growth facility.

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Stilbene has applications in homeland security, nuclear nonproliferation, and physics research.

Inrad Optics customers in academia, industry, and national laboratories have demonstrated numerous applications for stilbene. Examples from over 50 recent peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations include:

 Fast-Neutron Counting

Stilbene can be used in fixed or handheld fast-neutron counting applications. Additionally, the anisotropic response of stilbene may allow the direction of a source to be located.

 Fast-Neutron Multiplicity Counting

Stilbene has been applied to the characterization and mass determination of fissile materials such as uranium oxide and plutonium. This has applications in material accounting for nuclear safeguards.

 Neutron Imaging

Stilbene crystals have been fabricated into pixels for neutron and gamma-ray imaging. Inrad Optics offers both bare pixels and custom stilbene arrays.

 Active Interrogation

Stilbene has shown promise for use in applications which employ active interrogation to detect fissile material, such as vehicle and cargo scanning and assay of uranium in nuclear fuel assemblies.

 Neutron Spectroscopy

Stilbene has applications in neutron spectroscopy for physics research and materials identification. Neutron spectroscopy using stilbene indicated a reproducible fusion process in a deuterated metal lattice.

 Radioxenon Detection

The use of stilbene in radioxenon detection for nuclear-test-ban-treaty monitoring has shown promise due to substantially lower memory effect relative to the conventional material.


Application Note

Scintinel™ Data Sheet

Handling Instructions

Stilbene Detector Data Sheet

Scintinel™ stilbene crystals


Array of stilbene pixel bars


Integrated detector assembly


Industry Recognition
Awards Received

Laser Focus World
Innovation Award

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Standard and custom configurations available.

Start by selecting Scintinel™ Stilbene crystals, Stilbene Detector Assemblies or both, and enter the quantity next to each model you would like us to quote. If you require a custom configuration, simply specify your requirements and include any additional application information and we'll review and respond within 24 hours.

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